A Good One

Dorianne Laux’s husband, the poet Joseph Millar, taught our poetry writing workshop last class. He calls Dorianne “Annie.”

“Annie will go on about poetry, I know,” he said when he asked us what we’d done last class, and we told him that we’d listened to her talk, mostly.

He was enthusiastic about hearing everyone’s poems, and offered some great criticism. After I read my poem, he leaned back in his seat and a slow grin spread over his face. “First of all, that’s a good one,” he said before telling me some ways to clean it up.

Here’s the poem that Joe though was “a good one,” from an assignment on writing a poem in praise of nature. It still needs a title – I’m open to suggestions!

If I could scold the sunlight
held between these trees at five p.m.,
gold darts in the deep green between leaves and earth,
I would tell it: Look.

Look what you have done.
At the way you swim across his dappled shoulders
and the white of my belly, at the way
you turn this backwoods holler into something holy,
the halo you make of his hair, the stained glass window
between my thighs when I kneel down
in this dirt that even sings your praise.


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