Jennifer Maier

Haute Couture


Just when you think it can’t be mended,
the April sky,
dingy from over-washing,
gray hem of clouds coming down,
they arrive—
the assiduous tailors,
with their blue smocks,
their scissortails.

Then you step out of winter like a grave
and awkward garment,
happy beyond measure to know
that from this same bolt of blue
they clothed the pharaohs,
an Etruscan woman scaling a fish,
even your elderly neighbors,
sitting together
with their oxygen canisters
at the edge of the lawn,

May slipping softly
down over their shoulders
as in the old stories,
where the blind see,
the beggar walks in robes of gold,
and everyone is saved.


“Haute Couture” is reprinted from Now, Now (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013)


Jennifer Maier is a  professor of  literature and creative writing at Seattle Pacific University and an editor of the arts quarterly IMAGE. Her work has appeared in Poetry, American Poet, Poetry Daily, New Letters, The Writer’s Almanac and elsewhereHer first book, Dark Alphabet (Southern Illinois UP), was named one of the Ten Remarkable Books of 2006 by the Academy of American Poets and was a finalist for both the Washington State Book Award and the 2008 Poets’ Prize.  A second collection, Now, Now, will be published in 2013 by The University of Pittsburgh Press.


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