3 Poems – Emily Strauss

The Day is Reversing

The day is reversing, darkness falls again
so soon, it was only morning and look—
the lights are on again, the cat returns
to the blankets, birds silent, the fog thick
again before it rises, time reverses

and we may sleep once more, start over
as if breakfast were uneaten, the sun
not risen over the peaks, light a mistake
of the moon lingering too late, our eyes
deceived, dreams unfinished

we gain an extra hour or two, a quiet
time when we may relive our musings
before the world clamors and we should
attend to its hands reaching for us like
a child in supplication, and we turn

our eyes to that beggar or our young son
beside us crying for the day to be spun.

Loaves of Bread

a promise— like leaves,
shards of the tree floating
away, dry flakes like gold
in thick mud

loaves raised by heat
fragrant like ceanothus
at noon, hot sun pulling
the flowers open

loaves— mounds like stones
rounded in stream floods
smooth and soft to touch
finally maybe like moss

loaves almost womanly
a yeasty love offering
rising into dawn, the light
pouring itself into our eyes


Breaking the Silence

I broke my self-made fast—
three days of silence—
not to the man who spoke
loudly into an empty room
but to a dark-haired clerk
later at the fruit market
when I thanked her
for the fat strawberries.

My voice returned to me
by choice, leaving the cliffs
in fog down the coast road,
rejoining fellow creatures
who had never stopped talking,
their natural way, chatter,
chatter everywhere

and I already missed my bare
cell shaded by an old fig tree
where the jays warily came
to sip from a dripping garden
hose, eyeing me suspiciously
squawking into the silence.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college.  Over 300 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.


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