Today's poem is by Debora Greger


Everything—the houses shaped like boxes,
the splintery planks of the porches,
the doorknobs dulled by hand and wind,

the girl I was, dreaming at a window—
all entered the vast desert of my heart
with the fleeting clarity of rain. Or was it tears?

The evening unremarkable, the street suffused
with tenderness like the fog of chemicals
sprayed once a week from the back of a truck

in mosquito season. A game of hide-and-seek
in the gathering dark has been abandoned
so that the lost and the found alike

might run and shout in the sickening, sour-sweet mist.
So alive we were, not knowing we were mortal,
downwind from the reactor. Only later

did I come to think those nights in the desert
weren't mine. Father of dust, mother of ash,
I'm not the daughter you're looking for.

Sunlight roams the street in my absence,
inventing such subtle, ever dirtier colors.
I ask the past to stay a little longer.

I build it a boxy house in light as dingy
as a blank piece of paper blown into a fence
by wind on its way somewhere else.

Wind, before you go, send me a handful
of sand, a dirt-colored bird. Sparrow,
break the silence of the desert I carry.

Copyright © 2004 Debora Greger All rights reserved
from The Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved