Forgiven is a word made up
of rivers and of rushes.
No noise, no harsh
alarms, demands like swords
beneath its marshes.
Her face is calm, her smile molds
a flock of sweet-songed thrushes.
In joy replete
upon the rush hour street,
forgiven holds its victim still
and makes her peace complete.
A. Michele Leslie is a poet and playwright who lives in Minneapolis with her husband, David, and two cats.