Summer 2005


Summer 2005


the way that sandpiper runs
as close to the water
and then knows, pulls
back, but not
before he’s dug
into sea grass. I’m
walking out of branches,
wood, Daphne
run backwards, my own
breakwater this time.
Blue shells, sun
cupped in the arm of some
one who doesn’t own
or want to own me.
The leaves he pulls from
my skin are stained
with the verbs of someone
who didn’t see what she could.
Salt air chews them.
We dream of Nantucket,
wine in a grey wood
someday. You know I never
wanted a man just
for myself
but didn’t know that.
Gulls. Old women
unbutton black coats,
feel the light, dreams moving
in their throat like birds.
They are willow roots
hanging on under
the sand, pushing deep.
In this light, if they
were to unloosen a few
pins they would grow into
their hair, birds blown in the
sun toward cities rarely
found on maps

Lyn Lifshin’s recent prizewinning book (Paterson Poetry Award) BEFORE IT’S LIGHT was published winter 1999-2000 by Black Sparrow press, following their publication of COLD COMFORT in 1997. ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME will be published by Black Sparrow-David Godine in 2005. (ORDER@GODINE) Also recently published is A NEW FILM ABOUT A WOMAN IN LOVE WITH THE DEAD, March Street Press. She has published more than 100 books of poetry, including MARILYN MONROE, BLUE TATTOO, won awards for her non fiction and edited 4 anthologies of women’s writing including TANGLED VINES, ARIADNE’S THREAD and LIPS UNSEALED. Her web site is


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