Doreen Gildroy

It’s a tempting thought—

and quick to practice.


It was always that thought

I went back to

in my weakness,

so that I came

no longer to believe it.


Weren’t there other postulates

that wanted to appear?


I started that day

with the sketch of angels

on my wall—




Cooking in the kitchen,

I looked out the window

and the four trees rose up

green and circular,

the leaves

balanced on the thin

shoot of

pale bark.

Behind them, more trees.


My exile saved me.

I learned to speak myself

out of what was denied me.


I went to bed last night thinking

Maybe this was right…


The night sky was pink.

1 A.M. and Leonid

passing though its thirty-six years

in meteoric flight…


so I went to sleep

and thought of it all


above, going on—

I was walking into the future.


I remember my mother painting the landscape,

cutting the flowers, in relief, with her

palette knife.


I will not be afraid of it.

I will not hate it.


If the stars

are to be ignored

why such (power and) light—


purely in the world?

Found In Volume 33, No. 05
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Doreen Gildroy
About the Author

Doreen Gildroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self (University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares. Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2005.