Dorothy Trogdon

Strange How You Stay


Strange how you may stay in one place—
Say a house facing a stand of alders—
and yet are carried forward,

stay in one place but not in that time,
not in the years that meant so much to you,
that were your happiest years,

how you are helplessly carried onward.

It has come hard to me, this knowledge,
I have had to practice to do it—

to swallow silently the losses while I hold close
what the heart has claimed.

Now the trees have entered their winter silence.
In the garden, one foolhardy yellow rose
Is blooming still.


Dorothy Trogdon has lived on Orcas Island since 1985.  Previously she and her family lived in Spokane for 25 years.  “Strange How You Stay” is from her first full collection, Tall Woman Looking, published by Blue Begonia Press this month.

Introducing The Far Field

I’m delighted, as the appointed Washington State Poet Laureate, to begin documenting the width and breadth and vibrancy of our poetry.  We may live in the far field “in the corner missed by the mower” (from Roethke’s namesake poem), but Washington is, by any measure, a vital center for poetry in the United States.  I look forward to letting our poetry speak for itself here.

You can expect several new poems each week, all by poets who live and write in Washington. I hope this will become a place you visit often for news of the kind you can’t find on the front page.  Expect a wide range of concerns and voices and styles.  I’ll also plan on occasion to include updates about poetry-related events, some of my experiences traveling all 39 counties, and perhaps a few guest posts.

You may post your responses here, or if you like, contact me at with questions or comments or suggestions.  Do you have an event or a link to contribute? Please let me know.  I will also accept poetry submissions for The Far Field from current Washington State residents.  Though I can’t promise you publication here, I look forward to reading your work.  Please refer to the “About” section for guidelines.

I want to thank Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission who sponsor the Washington State Poet Laureate program and who have demonstrated their belief that poetry is a necessary part of a thriving community. I’m proud to live in a state that supports the arts and humanities.

Kathleen Flenniken