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Thursday, August 30, 2007


by Liane Ellison Norman

Say one child dies.

The house that houses grief may stand intact,
books on the shelves, dishes in cupboards,
towels on racks, scraper on the porch,
where dirt from muddy shoes falls off, floors

Disease storms the door, rips up
the floor, interrogates incomprehensibly.

The house becomes a foreign place
to stumble through at night into a land
of numbed not-sleep, broken at last
by the dull thud just before the grenade
of morning explodes.
Then multiply.

Liane Ellison Norman won the Wisteria Prize in January 2007, awarded by Paper Journey Press, for her poem "What There'd Been." She has also published poems in the Madwomen in the Attic Anthology (2007), Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Pittsburgh City Paper. Her first book of poetry, The Duration of Grief, was published in 1990 by Smoke & Mirrors Press, which also published her novel, Stitches in Air: A Novel About Mozart's Mother (2001.) A biography, Hammer of Justice: Molly Rush and the Plowshares Eight (1990) and Simpleton Story: A Fairy Tale For a Nuclear Age (1985) were published by PPI Books. She has also published many essays, articles and reviews.