After her pills the girl slept and counted
Pellet on pellet the regress of life.
Dead to the world, the world's count yet counted
Pellet on pill the antinomies of life.
Refused to turn, the way's back, she counted
Her several stones across the mire of life.
And stones away and sticks away she counted
To keep herself out of the country of life.
Lost tally. How the sheep return to home
Is the story she will retrieve
And the only story believe
Of one and one the sheep returning home
To take the shapes of life,
Coming and being counted.
Josephine Miles, “Tally” from Collected Poems. Copyright � 1983 by Josephine Miles. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Illinois Press.
Source: Collected Poems 1930-83