Carol Dorf

The Truth Is Mending

All those things you thought you could fix --
now you really wish your grandmother
was still alive to open her sewing box
and start you off with three feathers
on a Monday.
                        It would be like clockwork
without the winding key, and the mirrored
hands that reveal bruised shadows
beneath your eyes.
                        If the war were on
over here, drones would whistle
through the mountains like they do over there.
You would drop to the ground, whatever shape
your knees were in,
                        regardless of the full bag
of fruit and eggs you'd been lucky enough
to find in the market.
                        But that story belongs
with someone else's grandmother
over the ocean -- your grandmother's wars
were also someplace else --
                         you marched against this war
and signed petitions; but lacked the strength 
to rip the seams out of the demagogues' 
uniforms. Instead,
                        you imagine the bruised Monday
has nothing at all to do with your landscape.




The Thing Itself

New knowledge of reality
declare the physicists
particles that may (or may not)
be travelling faster than the speed
of light. The colossal sun
expands as it cools,
but that time is further away
than the congealing of dust
into the planets, so don't worry
so much. November rains
have striped away the last
red-orange persimmon leaves.
This happens every year --
perceived climate fluctuations
are not the same thing at all
as evidence of long-term change.
On the plus side, one could say,
our weather grows more exciting;
there is less chasing of storms,
and more experience of disaster
arriving on the doorstep,
suitcase in hand, asking to bunk
on the sofa for a week, a month,
the long term. If the vast changes
in the atmosphere, continue,
we might want to add a room
to the house for this chorister.


Carol Dorf's poems have appeared in Qarrtsiluni, Spillway, Canary, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Vinyl Poetry, Antiphon, Sin Fronteras, The Mom Egg, The Prose Poem Project, Helix, In Posse Review, Poemeleon, Fringe, The Midway, A Cappella Zoo, Heresies and elsewhere. She is poetry editor of Talking Writing, and teaches math at Berkeley High School.

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