Dorianne Laux

June 29, 2019 Laux Dorianne


Even when the gods have driven you
from your home, your friends, the tree
you planted brought down by storm,
drought, chain saw, beetles, even

when you’ve been scrubbed
hollow by confusion, loss,
accept joy, those unbidden
moments of surcease–

the quiet unfolding
around your shoulders
like a shawl, the warmth
that doesn’t turn to burning.

When the itch has stopped, the cough,
the throb, the heart’s steady beat
resumed, the barn door

open to the shade, the horse inside
waiting for your touch, apple
in your pocket pocked, riddled

the last to fall, the season
done. As you would accept
air into your lungs, without
thinking, not counting

each breath. As you accepted
the earth the first time you stood
up on it and it held you, how it was

just there, a solid miracle,
gravity something you would
learn about only later
and still be amazed.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Dorianne Laux’s Only As the Day is Long: New and Selected Poems is available from W.W. Norton as are her award winning books, Facts about the Moon and The Book of Men.  A text book, Finger Exercises for Poets, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton as well as a new book of poems, Life on Earth. She is founding faculty at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program and teaches private workshops in Richmond, CA and online.  She is vice board chair for the Raleigh Review.