The light

alerts me:

strange shadows

skitter across my pages.

“It’s a fire”

cries from outside.

There the shadow play

turns ominous.

Sooty clouds obscure

the sun’s face,

pass, are replaced.

Flames lick the blue

belly of the sky.

A homebody, walls and roof, burns.

Sirens screech red,

fill our street.

I stand at the edge

spectator of disaster.


Today I am

the girl who wishes she had a poem,

the one who discovers Jill Krementz’s photos of poets

who recognizes so many faces, friends

from Dodge Poetry Festivals,

who finds as the photos scroll to the final frame:

Adam Zagajewski died last month.

Today I am

remembering my first reading of Zagajewski’s poem, “Try to Praise the Mutilated World”

in the New Yorker, after the towers fell,

behind a stark black cover I had to study closely

to discern its secret,

and Zagajewski’s words “the light”

“gentle” —I forgot

“strays”— that, too,

but ” vanishes and returns”

echoing, echoing, echoing.

Today I am.

(Thanks to Janet Wong’s poem: “Today I Am.”)

The Golden Shovel

Many Slicers have used this poetic form, and I thank them all. I will give it a shot, dubious as I am, fully aware that I am not following the rules perfectly even as I do so. (We’re so near the end of the Challenge, and I commit to one-poem-per!)

The quote comes from “Close”by David Whyte, a stunning poem I discovered through Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings, a treasure trove of inspiration.

“Close/is what we almost always are: … close to giving the whole thing up.”

Fear lies in being close.

I know what that feeling is,

no matter what

it floods us. We

find ourselves saying “almost”

to avoid saying “always.”

Those forever words, are,

what makes us close…