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Friday, September 21, 2007


by Barbara Daniels

Shadow of a woman
in a glass porch,
white dress gone rose
in the sunset,
light burning up from a red porch swing,
vines curled like snakes
through holes in the screens.

Why do I hear the moon whisper,
hear a dying animal?
Is it the woman zookeeper killed yesterday
by a jaguar?

My eye is a clock,
my mouth stretched wide
to the point of erasure.

Is it the bomb at the mosque?
The explosive detonated Thursday in Ramadi?

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua R. Hager, 29, of Broomfield, Colorado
Army Pfc. Travis W. Buford, 23, of Galveston, Texas
Army Pfc. Rowan D. Walter, 25, of Winnetka, California

The moon bulges, gibbous. The jaguar
shot. The woman
dead. My student raises
her hand. “Like you,
I am obsessed with death,”
she tells me.

In the front of the classroom
I am an ice cliff, all austerity,
all betrayal, confounded
by sorrow, holding
yesterday’s newspaper.

Barbara Daniels' book, Rose Fever, will be published by WordTech Press in 2008. The Woman Who Tries to Believe, her chapbook, won the Quentin R. Howard Prize and was published by Wind Publications. Her poems have appeared in The Louisville Review, Natural Bridge, Tattoo Highway, and many other journals. Barbara Daniels received two Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.