Who Shall Say?
If I when my husband is sleeping
and my two daughters are sleeping
dance through my house, bare toes
on the wood floor, robe forgotten
on the piano bench — if I listen
to the wind in the green world, if I dance
carefully among the roses and aspens
onto the sidewalk near the purple weeds,
if I shake as though I were on a tree,
if I dance to the donut shop,
if I dance to the football field --
if I stop dancing, if I lie down and rest
on the cottony grass, would I belong only
to myself? Would I dance back home?
I couldn’t wait to be forty. The established tree.
Sweet anniversary. No longer would I be a chair
passing time until the master sits to write, a curtain
wishing to be closed, opened, touched and moved.
One can count on order in this life, the smooth
one-to-the-next, the dogma of lines. The poem.
I eagerly read ahead, sure the window would
come to know its drapes, the seat would contain
all knowledge of human knees. Then I turned. They
found me sprawled in the meadow beneath a valance
of green leaves, nearly forgetting a life measured
in rows, a concrete world I had arranged: a wall
for the syllables of my window, a floor to roll
my chair, a door propped open by unfilled space.
A Letter to Emily Dickinson
I am the kind who hears God in the feet
of a friend walking the stairs to my front porch,
in my daughter’s night-time cries. I hear the bear
at my neighbor’s trash, his feet heavy and strange
on the concrete, and also God, light and routine.
God in my husband’s bicycle around 5 o’clock.
The squeak of the swing. The grasp of a fist.
The little green bell. No need to go looking.
Emily, I’m writing to say I agree with you.
God exists within the brain, just as syllable
exists within sound — and without, if one
reads as I do, listening in the silence. Or so
I read you, right or wrong. I hear your poetry
in my brain, as I hear God, as I hear anything at all.
About the Author: Kelly Dolejsi is a climbing instructor with an MFA from Emerson College. Her work has been published most recently in Timberline Review, North American Review, Fifth Wednesday, Denver Quarterly, West Texas Literary Review, Allegro, Fiolet and Wing, Vine Leaves Literary Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and 1001.