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Sample Poem from This Water:
Just last year you said, "We hug
and say hmmnn, then lean
back our heads and look at each other
for a long time. Isn't that fun, Mama?"
Now you throw yourself into me less,
You sit in chairs, read chapter books,
sometimes tell me to go away.
We used to read stories every day
in the sun on the yellow couch.
You write your own stories now.
Your made-up spelling you call "kiddish,"
preferred to my "grownish."
Sometimes you tell me not to interrupt.
You were puzzled, months ago
why the girls chase the boys at school.
Today you tell me not to look
at your new book about Joel
behind your bed.
So I must confess, when you hurled
your long arms and legs, nearly topping me
last night, flung your head into my chest,
long walnut hair splayed over my neck,
paused there full of saturated smiles
and soft eyes like our cats in the sun,
I held on a little, to my big girl.
Praise for This Water:
Through music, image, and mind, Donna Emerson’s poems tell human stories. What appears, at first, to be a simple telling, opens up into wide vistas of the imagination, captivating qualities of sound, complex emotions and deeper meaning.
Katherine Hastings, contributing editor
Hunger Mountain—A Journal of Arts and Letters
A lilting voice from a new poet. A new daughter is not all that Donna Emerson gave birth to in her 50s. Her poems are loaded with rich imagery and memory.
Susan Swartz, author of The Juicy Tomatoes Guide to Ripe Living After 50
Donna Emerson’s poems—each a small, complete world—reveal their tenderness in detail. The poet William Carlos Williams once said “Perception is the first act of imagination,” and with her photographer’s eye, Emerson invites the reader to see, as if for the first time, what is extraordinary even in the most familiar. But as a poet, she also listens, deeply and intently, to her subject, whether it is a landscape, a memory, or one of those unforgettable souls she has counseled, struggling to reconcile themselves with mortality. And it is with a listening heart that the reader feels with her a wonder at the courage she has witnessed, and inspiration at the truth she captures.
Terry Ehret, author of Translations from the Human Language