Cecilia Woloch

March 19, 2024 Woloch Cecilia



You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown,
and a dog as large as myself …
                                                — Emily Dickinson, writing to Thomas Higginson


Strange music of our Emily —
strange shadow at the door —
who crept in silence, tenderly
put word against hard word.
What tune might she unbraided hum
to soothe my sister’s grief?
I think she’d offer neither hymn
nor poem to her — but kneel
beside the girl who loved the wild
tamed creature dying now —
the dog whose honey-colored pelt
still gleams, the darkened gold
of afternoon — then Emily
might help her lift the weight —
not from her heart, no fragile thing
the love that loves past death —
to bear it to the patch of earth
to dig — bare hands beneath thin snow —
that grief a grave of grass and dirt
— a cradle for such bones.

Cecilia Woloch is an American poet, an NEA fellowship recipient and the author of six collections of poems and a novel. She spent 2021-22 teaching as a Fulbright fellow at the University of Rzeszów in southeastern Poland and lives in Los Angeles when she’s not traveling.