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Sunday, November 04, 2007


by Tamara Madison

A red boil rises
in the eastern sky to show
a film of ash on asphalt:
your wedding photos
your tax returns, the couch
you could not get rid of.

Like a timid snowfall
the flakes sift down:
your closets full of clothes
for each of your changing sizes;
a decade of newspapers stored
in neat columns in your spare
garage; a marriage full
of Christmas ornaments.

When the wind is right
The sky shows its shy blue face
until the smoke returns
bringing with it your law books,
your socks, your brand new
king size bed.

Flames glitter on the hillside:
This is something big,
they tell us, We are stronger
than you will ever be.

And they bring us their booty:
all those ancient phone books
the magazines you had no time
to read, the bible you held
at confirmation, your mask
and snorkel, your careful
landscaping, and plastic,
all that plastic.

Tamara Madison teaches French in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is a long-time participant in Donna Hilbert's poetry workshop in Long Beach, California. Her chapbook The Belly Remembers won the Jane Buel Bradley Chapbook Award in 2005 and is available through