poetry | Page 3 | wisconsinacademy.org
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A recently published fourth collection, Palominos Near Tuba City, exemplifies the talents that have earned poet Denise Sweet considerable accolades.

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

Beneath the butcher-wrap paperlay Formica of gray with black flecks,and after my mother and her side-kick

So tell your story, each version more distantand yet … still fresh, never finished.

No matter whether death was suddenor a gradual decline,

You need to remind the mind over and over againto come back to quiet,

to the dark hollows of where words and no wordsare found, like hunting morels in a forest.

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