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Wednesday, November 14, 2007


by Barbara Daniels

I’m drawing the sun I drew as a child—thick yellow rays.
A house that can’t stand up, wind beginning, smoke
blown back in dark and fog. When I first moved

to married students’ housing, each Tuesday noon
a couple parked in front of our building, first in two cars,
then in one. In the late afternoon they came back together

and left alone. They had to be lovers. So I believed,
standing in the folds of gold curtains, watching
shadows begin and lengthen, the woman’s car, blue,

empty, all afternoon. I draw till my arm numbs.
I could have died for love. But I didn’t.
I draw coffee sour on the table. There’s a war

on television. It cancels the sky. There’s a train,
a quiet station, a grain elevator. Names of the dead
on a plaque in the park. The woods fill with lights

from my neighbors’ houses. I write your name
and then erase it. I draw the march into gunfire. Men
walking. The breasts of hills. Fingers red with blood.

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.