Friday, May 24, 2013

Poem of the Week: Denise Bergman

Denise Bergman             
A Building Away 
She is a neighbor a building away, we talk weather and potholes, exchange
names Mary same as her daughter or is she Marissa or Maria I was distracted, 
her nephew was chewing the leg of his doll and the day was disappearing before
seeds of our words could take root   A building a wall a fence a street an ocean a 
ritual a tradition a history, turnpike exits mile by milepost zoom past, trails of 
tears saturate the land, winds repollinate the fields with bones   The building an 
ocean away across waves and tides is brick is stucco mud wood thatch a tent ten 
inches from my open blinds   In the building an ocean away is a woman next 
door, the thunder of blood in her heart deafened by jets circling their targets, the 
labor of her lungs muffled by the snapping femurs of olive trees, bulldozers 
turning her town and land family and children under   Don't tell me who is or 
isn't a neighbor, don't redline my compassion

-Denise Bergman  

Used by permission. 
Denise Bergman's poetry collection The Telling is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press in 2013. She conceived and edited the anthology of urban poetry City River of Voices  (West End Press, 1992). Her poetry has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Salamander, American Letters and Commentary, Nimrod, Solstice, Denver Quarterly, Chautauqua Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Worcester Review, Monthly Review, Poet Lore, Patterson Literary Review, New Delta Review, Texas Review, Crab Orchard Review, and many others. Denise was poetry editor of Sojourner: A Women's Forum and hosted a cable TV series called Women in the Arts. You can read more of her work at:

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