poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

“This poem is about how tragic events enter our lives, the initial impulse to distance ourselves from them, and then how they permeate and linger. It was particularly difficult to admit relief at knowing that all those I knew were safe. Gratitude for the ordinary becomes extraordinarily heightened in such circumstances.”

—Sally Bliumis-Dunn

Flight 214

The news is still falling
in our kitchen
like invisible rain

as we eat the pink salmon,
the lettuce, the mashed potatoes.

Because now everything
glistens. The candles, the soft

folds of red napkins
each in its place,

as though it all were sacred—
the rain
must still be falling.

Not me, not anyone I know.

Earlier in the day, the terrible
news lifted too easily,

a cheap Mylar balloon
cut loose—a tinny flash.

Couldn’t even tell its color
against the sky.

Copyright @ 2014 by Sally Bliumis-Dunn. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on June 5, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Sally Bliumis-Dunn. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on June 5, 2014.

Sally Bliumis-Dunn

Sally Bliumis-Dunn

Sally Bliumis-Dunn is the author of Second Skin (Wind Publications, 2010) and Talking Underwater (Wind Publications, 2007). She teaches at Manhattanville College and lives in Armonk, New York.

by this poet

poem

I could tell they were father and son,
the air between them, slack as though
they hardly noticed one another.

The father sanded the gunwales,
the boy coiled the lines.
And I admired them there, each to his task
 
in the quiet of the long familiar.
The sawdust coated the

2
poem

The whales can’t hear each other calling
in the noise-cluttered sea: they beach themselves.
I saw one once— heaved onto the sand with kelp
stuck to its blue-gray skin.
Heavy and immobile

it lay like a great sadness.
And it was hard to breathe with all the stink.
Its elliptical

2