2011 Vol. 3 No. 3 — Fall / Poetry

Mrs. Noah

Still drizzling. Gray religious gloom
seeps in through the window,
the dim lantern creaks on its hook.
I’m humming to myself, stirring lentil soup.
The ark fills with a homey aroma.I’ve preserved the doctrine of spices,
the commandments of barley and beans.
Noah said, “We’ll just catch fish.”
I smiled. And remembered to take
cucumber seeds, to plant,
in a new world, a garden.oriana2
There’s my sack of almonds,
here my dried figs and dates.
After all I was the one
who’d asked, “Sweetheart,
shouldn’t we be prepared?”And kept him awake with my dream
of salvation in a houseboat, plied
him with reasons, sulks,
his favorite honey cake.
And got what I wanted:
three stories of gopher wood –
a large ark is easier to keep clean.The animals we took on board?
My cow, “Patchy,” and his fancy doves;
two donkeys, two little black goats,
the family’s cats and dogs,
and the grandchildren’s pet turtle.

Legends grow. Legends grow into myths.
Noah said he’d heard the voice of God.
Perhaps. But you know whose voice
nagged him and cheered him on
through the years of hammering and sawing,
and through the dark birth
of those forty nights and forty days.


CR publishes book + film reviews, interviews, profiles and more. All with a Polish slant, in English.
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