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About this poet

Michele Wolf was raised in South Florida. She received a BS in public communication from Boston University and an MS in journalism from Columbia University. She is the author of Immersion (The Word Works, 2011) and Conversations During Sleep (Anhinga Press, 1998), winner of the 1997 Anhinga Prize for Poetry. Wolf has received fellowships from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland; the Edward F. Albee Foundation; and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others. She teaches at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Keeper of Light


The little one listens but never reveals
What she knows. By day she controls the light
That filters across the roofs, through
Trees, on furrows of plaintive faces.
She wakes up alone and unlocks
Cabinets of light, allots the portions
Strictly, patiently hears requests
For additional rays. What a job.
She has to be careful. Not long ago,
In a moment of passion, she almost
Gave away the whole reserve. Phones
Incessantly ring. Amazing, someone
Thanks her for light. She has to hang up.
Her cheeks are ballooning, deflating,
As if she were some nervous fish.
She scoots in the broom closet, fits
On the funnel. Her face is beaming.
She targets the freshly erupting supply
Into a spare metal cashbox, hides it
Under newspapers in her desk.
No one has noticed. Flushed,
She sorts through the mail,
Coos a wilted sigh. So many tasks,
Yet the barest assistance. 
When she leaves, later, again,
She will dot the night, star by star.

Copyright © 1987 Michele Wolf. This poem originally appeared in Boulevard, Fall 1987, and also appeared in Conversations During Sleep (Anhinga Press, 1998) by Michele Wolf. Used with permission of the author. 

Copyright © 1987 Michele Wolf. This poem originally appeared in Boulevard, Fall 1987, and also appeared in Conversations During Sleep (Anhinga Press, 1998) by Michele Wolf. Used with permission of the author. 

Michele Wolf

Michele Wolf

Michele Wolf is the author of Immersion (The Word Works, 2011). She teaches at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

by this poet

poem
Locked in the hothouse—my steamy, salt-air
Neighborhood crayoned with hibiscus, each blossom’s
Red stalk aiming its pollen-beaded headdress
Toward the sun—all of us knew which of our fellow
Alpha classmates had become pregnant, though no
Impromptu blooms would blaze to meet the light.
On my last Miami visit, my
poem
It flares up at sunrise, a blush in a bramble
Tumbling out of its bed by the city pavement—a single
Rose, coral heat, at the end of the season.			
And you are drawn to it, to its scent, its silky
Layers, to its core. It gathers you into its 
Body until you lose your balance, all you can see	
Is a petaled grid,
poem

When I held smooth the satin to zip
Up your wedding dress, frosted with flounces 
And pearl-beaded filigree, a rococo
Confection more sugary than the cake,
And watched as you swiveled slowly to face
Me—all floaty notes, pure flute—so still
As I situated the baby’s breath and the veil,
How could I have told you