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Selection from Tanka Diary
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Selection from Tanka Diary

Selection from Tanka Diary

Hummingbird alters its course, zooming closer to check out the giant hibiscus flower. Only me in my red summer dress.

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Bamboo, jointed like my finger, pointed at the sky. What fine fishing poles you’d make for the girl who spent hours dreaming at the lake.

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With daily commuters, an extra passenger on the bus. Ladybug clinging to the window didn’t need to pay a fare.

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The fence surrounding our family garden saves lettuce and carrots from hungry rabbits who like salad as much as we do.

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Pedestrians on neighborhood sidewalks, swerving slightly to avoid smearing a child’s exuberant drawings in colored chalk.

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The day I notice, returning from my walk, a hole worn through the heel of one sock, my thoughtful sister has sent me a new pair. [End Page 705]

Harryette Mullen

Harryette Mullen is the author of several poetry collections, including Recyclopedia: Trimmings; S*PeRM**K*T; Muse & Drudge, winner of a PEN Beyond Margins Award; and Sleeping with the Dictionary, a finalist for a National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Polish, German, Swedish, Danish, Turkish, and Bulgarian. She teaches American poetry, African American literature, and creative writing at UCLA. A collection of her essays and interviews, The Cracks Between, is due from University of Alabama Press in 2012. Her Tanka Diary is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2013.

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