Sample Poems by Barbara Strasko First Day of
In the city a child waits for me- she's perched on her front stoop unsure
how she will get herself up while her mother sleeps,
or how she'll keep track of her
brothers jumping fences into quiet yards they have no business in.
She wonders what
route she'll take to avoid the girls who have declared they hate her more than anything and
how she will face the boys who know her father's in jail and why.
She is not sure how she
will get permission to walk the noisy halls to my office, or what I might say when I read her
poem on crumpled paper.
She only knows she will wait there, and I know when I see
her I will remember the line of starlings
I saw this morning, making new designs on
wires all the way down the bend in the road,
each new design another word I gather
from our sky to give her. Comprehending Lunacy
I wake in the
wrong arms and tumble back into my own sleep. We are as opposite as the smooth river and the
I seek the designs of space between the arches of the bridge. You see the
strong concrete holding the entire weight.
I feel the silence in the view you get lost in, it holds
me. You somehow get through life without standing still.
I recognize your name, though it
doesn't share letters with mine. We only want a glimpse of what we have wished
for. Edward Hopper
Dauphnee House 1932
shuttered except one next to the tracks.
Dried grass, also yellow. Bone-
like telephone pole with no wires.
In the quiet of the house, absence moves toward
A woman sleeps, a man's brush keeping time to her
A Ribbon Around a Bomb
He paints her as gorgeous
plant forms, flamboyant plumage, delicate tears, thick eyebrows the wings of a blackbird. Years before,
red, red, blood flowed from the bus accident. A painter in the seat next to her had a pocket filled with gold
dust, and so she lay naked with golden specks spilled all over her, naked and bleeding on a billiard table.
In the hospital death dances around her, and her thick black hair sprouts on the white cloth of night, the
pillow and sheets. The yellow blanket grows roots while vines climb the bed post protecting her contented
sleep so that her skeleton rests on the canopy as she blends with clouds, legs hollow, one arm clutching
lilies to her chest, always floating there, always asking-