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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
The crunch is the thing, a certain joy in crashing through
living tissue, a memory of Neanderthal days.
   —Edward Bunyard, The Anatomy of Dessert, 1929


Teeth at the skin. Anticipation.
Then flesh. Grain on the tongue.
Eve's knees ground in the dirt
of paradise. Newton watching
gravity happen. The
poem

Man-made, bejesus hot, patches of sand turned to glass.
Home of Iron Mountain and McCulloch chainsaws.

London Bridge, disassembled, shipped, reassembled.
The white sturgeon stocked, found dead, some lost,
hiding in the depths of Parker Dam. Fifty year-old
monsters, maybe twenty feet

poem

My daughter, ten and brown—another summer
in Arizona with her father—steps
nonchalantly down the ramp as planes
unfurl their ghostly plumes of smoke.
I had forgotten how his legs, dark
and lean as hers, once strode toward me
across a stretch of hammered sand.
And her shoulders,