Apparent Birth and Other Poems

Laura Smith Gross ’11 was born and raised in Berkshire County and held a multitude of jobs before deciding that all she really wanted to do was write. A feature writer for The Berkshire Eagle., her work has appeared in Blackstick Review and Pathways Journal. Her first collection of poetry, Spring’s Third Day,was published in 2010.

APPARENT BIRTH

Pink blush upon my wintered cheeks,
pale blossoms emerge as countless weeks>
of journeys toward an inner world
display secrets hidden in vines uncurled.

Whose visions cling to drops of dew,
that appear by magic in ample hues?
Be they princes, priests, or girls who dare
to speak a truth in song or prayer?

Our friends emerge within your grace
accepting love from spring’s clear face.
In hope, in dreams, we spin our tale
of growth that bursts from behind the veil.

Sing to me, o child of frost,
of journeys fulfilled and darkness lost.
What is there left for me to see?
Your vision is God’s pure victory.

Beckoned by your faithful birth,
Summer arrives to cherish its mirth.

AN ANSWER TO MAYA ANGELOU

What could a mere poet be
who speaks of rivers
and rocks and trees?

To a young girl
who might not believe
she is sturdy, whole and free.

What if this poet told her

“Give birth again
To the dream.”

So this girl would know
how to touch the stars
when they appeared too far to reach.

If this poet rose,
and danced and sang
and prayed.

Would that young girl
see that she could
rock the world with her whispers,
unafraid?

To that dear poet
who pulled herself from beneath
and said to this young girl
it was all right to believe.

To that rock
that river
that tree –
it is with tenderness and love
that I take root and grow,
to be happy
to be joyous
to be free.

PRIVATE SNAPSHOT, NY CITY TRAIN

Squares of light
of lives
flash.

Windows of time
of history
pass.

Strobed moments
lavish frames
flicker.

Leaving Grand Central
on a Thursday afternoon
catching glances of
friends never met
but histories shared.

Rocking cradle
filled with faces,
moments, days,
that do not return on the express.

Flickers of light
and smiles and hopes
and dreams cross tracks
with silence.

Flash
of lives
pass history.

AMERICAN (PARALLELISM)

They tell you to run,
not walk,
run.

Dick and Jane run.
“Run, Dick, run.”

We run on empty.
We run errands.
“America runs on Dunkin.’”
Run for Senate, no
run for President.

“Run run Rudolph” (but Grandma got run over by…)
“Who will I run to?” (Springsteen was born to).
Run the program, boot up your Mac,
run in your stockings, oh no –

just run to the store and put it on Visa
running up more debt (an act of patriotism).
“B-double E double R U-N beer run”
Now run from the cops kiddies,
you are underage.

We run to stay healthy,
feet pound the pavement.
Don’t you stop one single minute
5K (too fast for me).
10K (just under an hour).
26.2 (just over 5).

Run on sentences
they run on to the next line
always running we are from
place to place – from ourselves, from others,
teens run from parents
parents run from responsibility.

Jack ran up the hill, and Jill followed (of course).
Watch us go until we run out of steam and our defibrillator dies (battery ran out).

Just like Dick and Jane we run.
“Run Run Rudolph, we even push our pets,
just because Santa is running late
and Grandma ran out into the road.

They tell you to run,
not walk,
run.

Run away now, before I “run to you.”

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This entry was posted in Featured Work, Poetry and tagged , , by Sandi Sonnenfeld. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sandi Sonnenfeld

Sandi Sonnenfeld is a fiction writer and essayist. Her memoir, This Is How I Speak (2002: Impassio Press), which recounts how her views about what it means to be a woman in contemporary America changed after suffering a dangerous sexual assault, was a Booksense 76 finalist. With the memoir’s publication, she was named a 2002 Celebration Author by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, which recognizes writers whose work merits special notice. Sandi has published more than two-dozen short stories and essays in Sojourner, Voices West, Hayden’s Ferry Review, ACM, Raven Chronicles, Necessary Fiction, Perigee, Revolution House and The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review among others. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sandi holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Washington, where she won the Loren D. Milliman Writing Fellowship. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and the world’s most perfect cat.