Two Poems by Ruth Danon


I pick up a book. I put it down. I pick

Another, turn a page and read a poem.

I pick up the cats, first one, then the other.

I go to the sink and wash a glass.

I fill the glass with water and drink,

long, hard gulps.

I turn to my funny husband, who is sleeping

and touch his funny hand.

He starts and wakes and turns

to sleep again.

I listen to his breathing, in and out,

steady and exact.

Everything is the way it always is

and will always be.



Now, interior heat. Small fire

burning slowly in a small room.

Time was. Oh yes. And is. And

now a going forth, a late birth.

Unseasonable chill in the palms.

fronds I mean, and also the cold

fingertips that touch them. Lizard

facing down the tree, then up.

I wouldn’t hazard its quick turn.





Ruth Danon is the author of the poetry collections Limitless Tiny BoatTriangulation from a Known PointLiving with the Fireman, and a book of literary criticism, Work in the English Novel Review. Her work appears in the recently published anthology, Resist Much, Obey Little and is forthcoming in The Florida Review. Her poetry was selected by Robert Creeley for Best American Poetry 2002, and her poetry and prose have appeared in NOON: The Journal of the Small PoemVersalMeadBOMB, the Paris ReviewFence, the Boston Review3rd BedCrayon, and many other publications in the US and abroad. She teaches and directs creative and expository writing in the School of Professional Studies of New York University. Read an interview with Ruth here, and an interview by Ruth here.

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