Tag Archives: marriage poem

New Poems Published in “Melusine”!

Very excited and honored this morning to say that I have two poems included in the winter issue of Melusine, a journal for women in the 21st century (but not just for women, and not just including women). Huge respect and thanks to editor Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom, and I’m especially pleased because I love the work of two other poets in this issue – Mary Cresswell and Simon Perchik (I’ll  link Mary’s poem below along with mine).

Dear Peter

I came home tired from China.
You were a sudden warmth on a violet doorstep –

Present and tender, with a smudge of laughter.
Closer than calluses, you sway me and
I fall.

read more

Check out Mary’s “Spy Story” poem here.

Poetry: Do Us Part by Dawn Dorland

I’ve been wanting to ask you, Do you remember what I said at your wedding? Once you’d exchanged vows by banjo and your parents cried through their speeches; after Hava Nagila, when you and your bride flew on chairs. Later, when I’d blistered my feet dancing in heels, started telling big stories with flying hands. Later, when I took pictures with people I’d only just met and planned to visit their cities—but what I said, Saul, it was later than that, when you cut cake with your darling, and she smeared it up to your eyebrows. Later, much later, when we all heard a groomsman, having crept off, empty his stomach onto the sea rocks. And we laughed, willed sickness away, went headlong into a humming numbness, the wind whipping us in June off the Maine coast, dancing hard to Beat It

read more at Green Mountains Review

-Dawn Dorland

 

That Which Scatters and Breaks Apart

Everywhere they turn, the walls ask, why, why not.
From every space someone calls a question
and there echoes so many answers, it’s impossible to hear.

Save me, he calls.
Open me, she calls. Divorce me.
Their despair is a bird in an abandoned nest,
its brother has jumped out and died, its sister is dying beside it
and still it perches:
Do I fly?
Can I fly?

You’re here because you said,
I hate you instead of, I’m sorry.
You’re here because you couldn’t forgive
but kept on making stews and hand-washing his good socks,
blowing curses into hot water.

-Ladan Osman, Apogee

Poetry: Crown for a Young Marriage

This excerpt is from one of my favorite contemporary poems, which was just selected by Rattle for one of this year’s Pushcart Prize nominations. Extraordinary, illuminated.

If I was nothing else, but was a wife;
If I did nothing else, but could make meals
with scraps and pantry staples and a knife
I got when I was twenty-nine; if real
commitment (an abstract and noble word
before it tangles up with sacrifice)
turns out to mean a smaller life, less heard,
less heralded, less published, and less prized;
if after spending summer days indoors
for several years, and writing frightening verse
I’m eighty-odd and pale and little more
than what I am today, will I be worse
off than my single, roving poet friends?
I doubt it, but you’ll have to ask me then.
3
I doubt it, but you’ll have to ask me then.
I doubt that I’ll be doddering and hunched
and wishing I could do it all again
because I felt I’d missed out on a bunch
of fellowships. And Christ, I love you. Christ
do I remember loneliness, and what
I did for scraps of evenings, what sufficed
for kindness. Offer me a life, a glut
of love, of undeserved reserves of grace
and nice interpretations of my faults.
I’ll still find ways to be unhappy. Face
the facts, though—I’m at home filling the salt
shakers, cleaning the microwave, unknown.
But staunchly, resolutely unalone.
-Mary Block (view her website here)

Answering Machine

“Pat hi, it’s me, pick up. I thought you were
there, guess not. Where are you? Where could
you be, my dearest? See you tonight then,
8 o’clock at our normal place, bye my love.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on my
wife’s business answering machine. I came
home early from work to mow the grass. Who
was this man’s voice on my wife’s answering
machine? I played it again, “it’s me … see you
tonight … our normal place … bye my love.”
My heart, like a racing steam engine, truly
nearly pounded right out of my chest. Where
was she going tonight and to meet whom? How
could I find out? I couldn’t ask her, she’d have a
lie ready. Somehow I needed to follow her, but
then again maybe not. Do I really want to know
the details of the ruin of my life? I’ll kill this guy,
is all I can think, I will. I’ll have to kill this guy
for taking my wife from me. The courts will
understand. Adultery is truly a disgusting,
cowardly crime. I could never hurt her of
course, but him, well I’ll simply have to kill him,
soon as I find out who he is. Then I woke up
shaking and spent the whole day wondering if I
am a good husband, even bought her flowers on
my way home. (And checked her answering
machine when she wasn’t looking.)

-Michael Estabrook, Rattle

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