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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, May 17, 2018.
About this Poem 

“This was an exercise my husband gave me, to write a poem using ten words and a phrase. I was trying to achieve some sense of cohesion with those ten words, create order out of the chaos he had handed me. Our country is living through troubled times, and we are all doing this kind of reconstruction daily, struggling to make some sense of the world. A poem is a place to start.”
—Dorianne Laux

Blossom

What is a wound but a flower
dying on its descent to the earth,
bag of scent filled with war, forest,
torches, some trouble that befell
now over and done. A wound is a fire
sinking into itself. The tinder serves
only so long, the log holds on
and still it gives up, collapses
into its bed of ashes and sand. I burned
my hand cooking over a low flame,
that flame now alive under my skin,
the smell not unpleasant, the wound
beautiful as a full-blown peony.
Say goodbye to disaster. Shake hands
with the unknown, what becomes
of us once we’ve been torn apart
and returned to our future, naked
and small, sewn back together
scar by scar. 

Copyright © 2018 by Dorianne Laux. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 17, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Dorianne Laux. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 17, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Dorianne Laux

Dorianne Laux

The author of several collections of poetry, Dorianne Laux was the recipient of the Oregon Book Award and a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award for her book Facts About the Moon

by this poet

poem

My mother went to work each day
in a starched white dress, shoes
clamped to her feet like pale
mushrooms, two blue hearts pressed
into the sponge rubber soles.
When she came back home, her nylons
streaked with runs, a spatter
of blood across her bodice,
she sat at one end of

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2
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Soon she will be no more than a passing thought,
a pang, a timpani of wind in the chimes, bent spoons
hung from the eaves on a first night in a new house
on a street where no dog sings, no cat visits
a neighbor cat in the middle of the street, winding
and rubbing fur against fur, throwing