Erin Malone

And Then


In the windows we were drawn:
I held my knobby baby
in dawn’s automotive light.
A fleet of cars sailed by
as school-kids stomped their boots
shook their shiny coats.
I put my baby in a basket.
We slept in fits & as the weather
turned we started to grow older.

I bounced him hobbledy-hoy, hobbledy-hoy!
I wound my wobbly bumpkin
& in the garden
let him go. We went in circles.
This is the way the farmers ride.
Another year. Another.
I lost count of worn-out shoes.
Bees came to the flowers of his ears.
His hair got long.

Around us red leaves
lettered to the ground &
I became a tree.
I swung my boy like a bell
by his knees. His mouth
made the shape of a song.
Where had he heard it?
I listened to the tune.
This was not a song I’d known.


Erin Malone’s poems have appeared in journals such as FieldBeloit Poetry JournalPOOL and online at Verse Daily. Her chapbook, What Sound Does It Make, won the Concrete Wolf Award in 2007. The recipient of grants from Washington’s Artist Trust, 4Culture and the Colorado Council of the Arts, she has taught writing at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Richard Hugo House in Seattle, and at the University of Washington Rome Center in Italy. Currently she teaches poetry in Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program.


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