Dorianne Laux

December 16, 2011 Laux Dorianne


The old wheelbarrow aimed like a cannon

at the empty field, its bowed sides gold with rust,

half-filled with last night’s rain, a silver scrim

that shimmers when the wind passes over it,

then moves on into the field, turning the wheat

to waves before it escapes into the trees.


And then the sound of wind through leaves

like time’s low treble note, like the sticky substance

of the day abandoned, the minutes swept up

and dropped, arbitrary, all along the forest floor.


And somewhere beyond the field, a poet sits

alone in her flimsy house, her pen squeaking

across a blank page, writing the screed

of her life, making her little path of words

and thoughts– the candle flame, beer froth,

the field of wheat, the rust, the sun–

writing down everything that doesn’t last.

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.