Poetry | wisconsinacademy.org
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Reticent, needs drawing out, Miss Rinehart

scribbled on my sixth-grade report card.

I vowed to never return, but instead

She chops onions dumps themin black beans garnishedwith overcooked porkadds cumin and rosemaryleftover out-of-dateserendipity for the poorlined neatly on the other side

Act I

Put me where I am usefuljust beneath the topsoilhalf-inch down of warmthand wet loam in my handspitch me a shovel or rakelet me get up when the sunsplits land from sky and blazes

My horoscope saidToday is a ten.

You’re driving; I’m ridingIn a Cadillac convertibleThrough the pouring rain,Soaked to the skin, and more.

There was a boy who was not yet a man who spent a summer graftingbuds onto peach branches. It was hot; it was the bay shore ofMaryland and 1974. He carried a small knife and used it with his

What kind of times are these, whento talk about trees is almost a crimebecause it implies silence about so many horrors?—Bertolt Brecht, “To Those Born Later”

of a wasp appear from layersof lace in your wedding dress.It has just enough zest leftto sting like old vows and brokenpromises. That same day you aredeep into spring cleaning yourdaughter brings home

I prefer crowds with voices echoingup and down the train cars, city bus gears singing     stop hereexhaust spewing, laughs rolling to the page—boots, heels, sneakers step on and off the curb,

My mother is a social worker who works in a hospitalshe makes daily visits          checks her chartsshares small talk with the patientsas she brightens up their rooms

When you were three years old, I knocked on the men’s room door,and, taking your hand, opened the door cautiously.

I’d never been in a men’s room before.Urinal against the wall, a small white cake

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