Poetry Oct. 2010

View Author/Artist Bios

Not Yet

by Danielle Donaldson


Girl, that is Not Yet,

Is Spirit: unconceived, a ghost,

Mere thoughts and dreams

And hopes unrealized.


To bring you here,

Take you from the ether of bliss,

Unaware of the horrors

Of this realm for the feminine,

Wouldn’t that be a mother’s sin?


Abstract things would not protect you,

Could not protect me.

If I could not save myself,

How would I save you, Daughter?


A Not Yet mother’s worry

Might keep you there—a wish.

Know, for love, for selfish fear,

That this Not Yet mother cares.

This is real love, Girl. See it.


You will not feel the fresh bruise

From a loving man’s fist.

No kisses of violence,

Gift-wrapped self-loathing.


Float along in the stream.

I cannot bring you here

To qualm my starvation.

You cannot save me, Daughter-Sister.

This woman cannot save herself.


For Daughter, my love,

To keep you safe,

I must keep you away.


Girl, you stay—Not Yet.




Awake in Long Beach

by Ruth Sabath Rosenthal


awaiting the perk
from freshly brewed java
the lull in gull squabble over
a tide dredging up debris
blemishing beach
husband and wife
skiffs passing in night
each wake muster
“good morning”
sugar black coffee
crack boiled eggs
never a smile
their chink in armor
amor not at all
what it’s cracked up to be




The Death of a Chinese Widow

by Changming Yuan


In a remote Chinese village
On a forgotten winter night
A 38-year-old poor woman
Tried hard to sit up noiselessly
Put aside rather than on her padded clothes
Crawled out of her frameless bed
And resolutely drowned herself
In a broken wide-brimmed water jug

Behind herself she left neither worth nor words
Except three teenagers who had been
Bullied and looked at with slanting white eyes
By their fellow villagers
(who bore the same family name)
Ever since their father died
Of an untreated disease
13 years before

Years later, her children understood
Why she killed herself
In a water jug on that night
Many years after she had been suffering
From a painful
But not fatal disease

Years later, her only son told me
Why my grandma
Chose to drown herself almost naked
On that cold night

View Author/Artist Bios