Teresa Cader

August 10, 2015 Teresa Cader



You’re wasting time. Your lilac needs pruning. By the shed,

split birch rots, the compost is amuck in rainwater.


Remember your lemon summers, a table set by a stone wall, peaches

in a basket with white napkins. Tart apples and Stilton on plates.


You’ve forgotten how to laugh. Tongue in ear. Toes on thigh.

Where did you put your body, once taut with expectation?


Who could know what would happen. Ice storms out of season.

Winter moth in the trees. Spores rising in blades of grass.


Others picked apple blossoms and put them in a blue vase,

while you filled hand-made journals with complaint.


The stones are tired of hearing your story. Bitter, bitter the crows

pronounce mid-flight. You should hike down to the pond,


late afternoon, now that your legs will carry you. Go ahead: take

your clothes off : your broken body is not special.


Feel the silt slide across hair rising like milkweed.

Feet sinking in mossy sludge, you’ll kick-off from the bottom


as it dissolves beneath you.

Teresa Cader is the author of three poetry collections (History of Hurricanes, 2009, and The Paper Wasp, 1999, both published by TriQuarterly Books, Northwestern University Press, and Guests, 1991, Ohio State University Press). Her awards include the Norma Farber First Book Award, The Journal Award in Poetry, the George Bogin Memorial Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from The Bunting Institute at Radcliffe, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the MacDowell Colony. Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Poetry, Harvard Review, Harvard Magazine, AGNI, FIELD, Ploughshares, and other journals. Her poems and prose have been translated into Polish and published in Poland (including “Post”). She is working on a fourth book of poetry and a book of creative nonfiction. She teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Lesley.