Undetonated Cluster

Tossed, dropped it freefalls
so easily

through the willing, complicit sky
A slender wind

pokes, nudges, guides

A squall of warm air slurs the speed
the metal orb
floats, a jewel-red plum

parachuting, an overripe peach
spit from a god’s bitter lips

On deeded sand
it lands, or settles in a bent cedar limb
A girl

riding her brother’s shoulders
is curious
A boy
finds a new toy —

ball, puck


Denise Bergman is the author of Seeing Annie Sullivan, poems based on the early life of Helen Keller’s teacher (Cedar Hill Books, 2005), which was translated into Braille and made into a Talking Book.  Her poems have been widely published.  She conceived and edited City River of Voices (West End Press), an anthology of urban poetry, and she was the author of Keyhole Poems, a sequence that combines the history of twelve specific urban places with the present (which received an award from the Cambridge City Council).  Denise was poetry editor of Sojourner, A Women’s Forum, and hosted a cable TV show “Women in the Arts.”  She received several grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Puffin Foundation, and her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  An excerpt of her poem Red is permanently installed as public art in Cambridge, MA.  Her website is www.denisebergman.com.

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