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Jane Levin



Her life
is an atoll.

Tiny islands of dependency,
alluring from               afar.
Up close,
a relationship of sand.

She leaves at
                      high tide.


Originally appeared in The Minnesota Women's Press.




ten little blue stems gather
at sunset
the minyan stands tall
bends in unison
wispy heads bob to earth
then sky
          then earth again
whiskers quivering




I stand on a bridge of one span
and see this calm act, this gathering up
of life, of spring water
and the Muse gliding 

— Denise Levertov, "The Well"

                         the Muse cannot stand
on our bridge, or glide her yellow kayak
                           down the mighty river

she is submerged
trapped by a twisted steel serpent
its mouth devouring a tiny red sandal

the Muse begins to write

a poem of courage
for divers
scrambling onto the banks
putrid sludge dripping from empty arms

a poem of hope for the father
curled into a broken teacup
on the dank carpet of the Holiday Inn

when the last hearse has left
the massive gravestones to settle
the Muse will resurface
write her rage

Written in response to the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis and originally appeared in
Writers Rising Up to Defend Place, Natural Habitat, Wetlands.



Jane Levin is a retired psychologist, community worker, and eight-year survivor of ovarian cancer. Recent publications include Coping with Cancer, Cosmopsis Quarterly, Flutter Poetry Journal, Talking Stick 16, and Dust & Fire. She is the recipient of a Jerome Foundation/Intermedia Arts Mentorship and a Howard B. Brin Jewish Arts Endowment grant.
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