Margaret Young’s poetry collections are Willow from the Willow (Cleveland State Poetry Center 2002) and Almond Town (Bright Hill Press 2011). A third volume Night Blue has been a semifinalist in several contests. Raised in Oberlin, Ohio, she graduated from Yale and worked in a traveling theater company before earning a master’s in creative writing at U.C. Davis. She has taught at colleges in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and California, worked as a teaching artist in schools, and received a 2005 Individual Artist Grant from the Ohio Arts Council. Currently she teaches at Endicott College and lives in Beverly, Massachusetts.
September Diary, Dreams and Walking
Grace looks odd spelled out, like it should be graze, maybe, or thanks in Spanish, or that town in France that makes perfume. Outside the window where the baby naps, a forklift rumbles, beeps, aligns itself with a short stack of long boards.
Real hubbard squashes, but the dream put smiley faces on their gray-blue, toad-bumpy surfaces.
Blue heron standing in the artificial pond at work today. Sometimes I’d like to fold up into myself like that.
Are there rationalist goths, we asked, passing a clump of painted kids in Salem, near the witchy stores. There were abundant greyhounds, loose groups of grownups pushing a lone stroller.
I dreamed about my mother, gone twenty three years. Just there, jumbled in with everyone.
Sing willow, sing sycamore, poke poke berries turning black and luscious. Low clouds scuttling out to sea, wind tossing it all around.
Score a bar of baking chocolate, block of bittersweet, hunk of dark breaks into daylight. Ice forming on the dashboard. One milk mushroom, one milk song: the baby ate my voice. I’ll rise again, maybe next week.
is more than American self-helpishness
but ancient inevitable, letting water,
for instance, go the way it knows.
Glaciers melt, bears roam the woods
where my sister runs, I run Bear Creek
with my pale dog, only one heron
between here and Gustine, it is not
Put the flat of your knife on the garlic clove
and slam your fist down, pretend that it’s
your ex, the TV chef suggests. How about
a demon of your own creation?
I want to hit my brother.
He’s neither bear nor evil, just
an ass, born under a crusty sign.
And my mother is a cypress, a coyote,
and my father wrote a poem
about chopping garlic for us all.