Photo: Chip Cooper

If poetry were embroidery, Julie Sheehan would wield her needle and thread in creating the most intricate patterns on the loveliest everyday necessities.  She is a witness to the things that happen to all of us, while lyrically calling in the understanding that eludes so many of us.





After the Memorial

This morning, fog banked in, refractory,
of course.  Except for one gull, all else blank.
Then dress shoes, lit candles in the heels, flanked
an apse in the dead poet’s memory.
We know that there are infinite views of illusion,
just as there are varieties of children,
so how could the sun’s September gaze send in
a light like pollen dusting my work boot’s tongue?
I’m loathe to look, though I am not yet light,
nor air, its scatterer.  An hour ago or better
I gleaned, from living eyes so plate glass blue
they might have been two dimes flipped in the gutter,
a total loss.  Yes, it could happen to you,
the optic theorum of crosshairs trained on hindsight.

Julie Sheehan’s three poetry collections are Bar Book: Poems & Otherwise, Orient Point, and Thaw. Her honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Robert H. Winner prize from Poetry Society of America, and the NYFA Fellowship in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Parnassus, Kenyon Review, and Garrison Keillor’s latest anthology, Good Poems, American Places. She teaches in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

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