Jessica Cohn – Spring

Jessica Cohn It was the spring when dry goodsheld our fascination. We bottled goldhand-pumped mucous. Toilet paperbecame currency. The cut of ethylalcohol sharpened elbows. We tookour contact in fluid ounces, returnedto fire escapes, back steps, the oppositeside of the street. The public squareemptied, and the crosswalk followed.Masters of airports called the airplaneshome. The cars stopped …

Jane Hirshfield – Today, Another Universe

Jane Hirshfield (February 24, 1953 -) The arborist has determined:senescence      beetles      cankerquickened by drought                           but in any casenot prunable   not treatable   not to be propped.And so.The branch from which the sharp-shinned hawks and their mate-cries.The trunk where the ant.The red squirrels’ eighty-foot playground.The bark   cambium   pine-sap   cluster of needles.The Japanese patterns      the ink-net.The dapple on certain fish.Today, for some, a universe will vanish.First noisily,then …

Lisel Mueller – In Passing

Lisel Mueller (February 8, 1924 – February 21, 2020) How swiftly the strained honeyof afternoon lightflows into darknessand the closed bud shrugs offits special mysteryin order to break into blossom:as if what exists, existsso that it can be lostand become precious.

Yesika Salgado – Diaspora Writes To Her New Home

Yesika Salgado I am what comes after the civil warafter the dismembered corpsesthe burnt sugar cane fieldsthe mango tree strung with a single hanging bodythe man with his tongue in his pocketthe soldiers and the guerrillathe exodus of my grandmother’s children I arrived after the fleeing. after the bruise was named a desert.after the new …

Lucille Clifton – Poem to My Yellow Coat

Lucille Clifton (June 27, 1936 – February 13, 2010) today i mourn my coat.my old potato.my yellow mother.my horse with buttons.my rind.today she split her skinlike a snake,refusing to excuse my backfor being bigfor being oldfor reaching toward othercuffs and sleeves.she cracked like a whip andfell apart,my terrible teacher to the end;to hell with the …

Adrienne Rich – What Kind Of Times Are These

Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929–March 27, 2012) There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphilland the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadowsnear a meeting-house abandoned by the persecutedwho disappeared into those shadows.I’ve walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don’t be fooledthis isn’t a Russian poem, …

Jo McDougall – Straightpins

Jo McDougall Growing up in a small town,we didn't noticethe background figures of our lives,gray men, gnarled women,dropping from us silentlylike straightpins to a dressmaker's floor.The old did not diebut simply vanishedlike discs of snow on our tongues.We knew nothing then of nothingnessor pain or loss--our days filled with open fields,football,turtles and cows.One day we …

William Carlos Williams — The Widow’s Lament In Springtime

William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963) Sorrow is my own yardwhere the new grassflames as it has flamedoften before but notwith the cold firethat closes round me this year.Thirty-five yearsI lived with my husband.The plum tree is white todaywith masses of flowers.Masses of flowersload the cherry branchesand color some bushesyellow and …

Patricia Carroll Mathes – Another Lovely Day

Patricia Carroll Mathes (January 20, 1943 -) Thank you for another lovely day,”you said, as we drove to yet anothertemporary lodging.These days are hard,but you make them easier.The smoke that permeates our clothes,the darkened rooms smelling of disaster.The charred remains of two livesloving books, music, and art.Two sisters, the sweet and the serious,resident ladies of …

Mary Jo Salter – Complaint For Absolute Divorce

Mary Jo Salter August 15, 1954 -) A little something to endorse: Download attachment, print and sign Complaint for Absolute Divorce, the lawyer wrote with casual force. Yet why complain? The suit was mine. A little something to endorse “Complaint”: sheer poetry, of course, more lofty than Lament or Whine. Complaint for Absolute Divorce: so …