November 04, 2007


Born with a cowlick, a black tuft untamed
by cradlesong. Blessed with two deft hands
and a flair for forgery. Underlings stack
the flatware, prop the rickety staircase,
prepare the borscht. Not she of the four
crinolines, the seven silk scarves. Sloe-eyed
in the casino of chance, she croons her come-ons
to runaway Jacks and reins them in. Grooms
them with a devious tongue, a red-hot brush.
The bridle, the whip, attuned and insomniac.

—Barbara Goldberg
Winner, Emily Dickinson Poetry Award judged by Andrew Hudgins (from “Fortune’s Darling” to appear in The Royal Baker’s Daughter, U. of Wisconsin Press, 2008)

Posted by dwaber at November 4, 2007 01:57 PM