Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Ellen Pober Rittberg

See Her Hands How They Plait

see her hands how they plait
beneath her head as she sleeps
she works upon it
like some field
that might yield ripe red grapes
if she works hard enough
which she always does.
see her arms as she reaches out
steadily upon her bedsheets
always going
she wants so much, this child
the raw force impels her up
impels her to the sun.
sometimes she grabs at me
as if I am some tattered cloth,
grabs at my shoulder
my thigh, with great force.
like some mythic creature
she cannot be shaken off.
do not give her a life
of vague longings
watching the world
from room corners
her body, bowed
but let her not run too fast
into a window
as she once did,
the scar
on her forehead
a square
which she displays
her diadem.
let the world rise
when she enters the room
absorb her
but not fully --
pulsate with her
watch her emerge, converge
not to blend or efface,
but to brace
the world with her hand
band it like a bird
give voice to it
without singing
to stand, withstand
love, be beloved
to trace the world
with her finger
and tread upon it
enter it
as if for the first time
with grace
a fantast
walking into the wind
a singer in the dark
as tall as the Eastern Pine
as ancient.

©2007 by Ellen Pober Rittberg

Ellen Pober Rittberg's poems have appeared in kansas quarterly, wheelhouse magazine, flutter, and long island quarterly. A 2007 Mid Island Y JCC Annual Poetry contest winner, she loves nature, people and reading her poetry aloud, which she does whenever she is asked to. A former award winning journalist, her features and essays have appered in the New York Times, Newsday, the Daily News, and other large urban dailies.

  Home Contributors Past Issues Search   Links  Guidelines About Us

Subscribe to the Slow Trains newsletter