One Poem by
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

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At the First Scent of Daylight

It’s never what you think
when you step into the afternoon
sky, the indoor world behind you,
asleep in the sleeping bed, cats and all.

It’s not the cold wood smell
of dusk, a little coal, a little pine,
or the smell of high noon,
clothes evaporating rain water
on or off the line.

It’s not the middle of the dark
when you were eight, screeching brakes
a block away, escaping a dream
that smells like wet leaves and grapefruit.

No, it’s more like a spray of sea
without the salt water, a relief,
the flight of grasshoppers, the mechanics
of daylight opening the wings
in everything, even you.




Caryn Mirriam-GoldbergCaryn Mirriam-Goldberg, the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, is the author of 24 books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems; Miriam’s Well, a novel; and The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. Founder of Transformative Language Arts, she is offers writing workshops, coaching, and collaborative projects through with Kathryn Lorenzen, with Kelley Hunt, and with Joy Roulier Sawyer.

Read two poems by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, with two photos by Stephen Locke, previously appearing in

Photo by Seksun Guntanid, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Caryn Mirriam–Goldberg by Stephen Locke. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.