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Three Poems by Melissa Ginsburg

THE JOB Not being stupid I took what was offered: the job was waiting and I did it with sand and mirrors, in glitter while I paced. I waited, I fell in love with waiting ...

THE JOB

Not being stupid
I took what was offered: the job
was waiting and I did it
with sand and mirrors, in glitter
while I paced. I waited, I fell
in love with waiting
covered in jewels washed
in from the sea. Summer
kept me in sugared fruits,
shiny shells, mother-of-pearl.
My job was undressing
the sea, what it wanted, shovel
and droplet turned sun to roving dots.
Waiting threw its necklace back,
was work, was softened glass.

 

BIRTHDAY

I dug a shallow wide hole in the yard
for a tree that might grow or an animal’s grave.
Dog in the hole, white fur and fill dirt.
Better to bury it. It was my birthday.

A dogwood in winter has berries the birds like.
A winter rose in the window. A sugar
rose. We will take it in the snow. We’ll fill
a hollow log with heated rocks. 

It is my birthday. It keeps on, it occurs.
For my birthday I am given a window.
By you I am given. A view, a gift, a tree, a dog,
a stone. Everything I have I give to winter.

 

MERMAID

Flood deeps the shallows.
The rivers get covered.

We difficult our dinners.
In times of hunger, if only

a rock on which to perch.
In sleep we choose a dream:

lure a gull and water lock it,
meet a boy and get feet.

 
 
From Dear Weather Ghost (c) 2013 by Melissa Ginsburg.
Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

 

 

  

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“Like syntactical pinwheels, Ginsburg’s word choice disorients then reorients the reader in a new, slightly off-kilter universe. Like a perennial Alice through the looking glass, for the speaker, seeing the world, let alone being in the world is not a habit. The speaker sees the world in its particularity: birds animate cables; light, dust and shadow are caught in the dearth of a moment. Ginsburg’s vision—embracing everything and refusing nothing—gives the collection its spine.” ~ Review by Amy Pence, online at The Rumpus

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About Melissa Ginsburg

Melissa Ginsburg
Melissa Ginsburg is the author of Dear Weather Ghost and the chapbook Arbor. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Fence, Denver Quarterly, Blackbird, Sixth Finch, jubilat, and other magazines. She has received support for her work from the Mississippi Arts Council and the Ucross Foundation. Ginsburg is an instructor of creative writing and literature at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.