- In the Rushes
Miriam, Miriam, someonecalled from the rooftop. Hurry to the watercolor green bullrushes where baby brother floats, serene.
My bare feet ranon the brown wood floor. Third Grade play, I was center stage. My star in the East, following.
Hurry to the lapping inletwhere mud-stick oozed through my toes. I lifted the wailing baby to cuddle his limbs to my flat ribs. [End Page 24]
Quiet this babyto save his life.
Our lives in 1946: my tawnysummer tan and the melted figure eight of mother's real gold earrings.
Two cheers for raspberry jellyroll,and quivering chocolate pudding. Two s's for dessert, my greedy spoon. One s for desert, the sand-vast beach, where the moon's blade curses and nomads sleep—
You place your handon me, from behind. Hurry, you say again.
Placing your palmon the bone that would be a wing, your fingers widen to a blooming lotus. Lift, you say, as if I could. As if that were easy, brother.
You have grown, serenebrown brother. Your arrivals hush. Your colors are water and the green, green— you say, Don't turn around. Listen.
"As a child, I attended a school where Bible stories were dramatized within the curriculum. Playing a barefooted, eight-year-old Miriam became transformed, over years, from a big sister's urgent task into any artist's need for "the other" or "messenger," who guides our work—on good days, anyway.
My poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, West Branch, The Seattle Review, Salamander, and Pivot, among others. In 1998, my full-length manuscript was selected as a semi-finalist by Sarabande Books. I live in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains and teach a writing workshop in Kingston. With three other poets, I co-edit Heliotrope, a journal of poetry. Volume #7 will appear early next year."