Poetry from Sarah Daly


Warm, soothing, like baby powder,
or irises that float on delicate
winds, recall her bronzed 
hands, kohl-lined eyes,
flushed lips 

in embrace, 
and how, encumbered 
with tears, both stood on
the curb, with his van filled, 
trapped in that final goodbye.  

Verse For Those Who Scale Waterfalls

Ice’s rage reverberates
through the centuries;
it echoes from every carved
beach and cliff.

There is a town which
worships this ice,
which attempts
to conquer this ice.

There is a man who coaxes
this ice with axe and rope,
ascending its rigid grooves,
knifing towards its summit.

And of this ice, he demands submission, 
demands compliance, demands 
shelter, only yielding 
in its remission.  
But even he wanders away, 
chastened to the bone;
so one generation weakens,
while the ice grows.

And the years go on,
and the little town 
ponders, while threading 
needles and baiting hooks.


For they hardly have the means 
to placate such rage.  

Furthest From My Dreams

The bathroom mirror is slick
with steam;
the cold glass 
obscures my face.  

I slip into the bathtub
and imagine coffee on ice,
fire on snow, 
lava on glaciers.

I prop my feet 
against the faucet
as the water slowly cools,
and the minutes pass.

I return,
relishing the darkness
of winter’s end.   

The Fog

When I dream of him,
though he does not dream of me,
the grogginess but barely lifts, 
from this land of somnolence. 

The likelihood of grief,
stalks these waking hours,
stealing, bit by bit, my  
calm competency.


Boolean Logic

Say “get” not “equals” is the first thing they tell us—
you need two equal signs for that.  
An exclamation point is not an exclamation point 
but an appendage for denouncing equality.  
“No” does not mean “not” 
but a tilde (never call it a “squiggly line”) does. 
And who knew that a pointy hat 
could be so exclusive?  

“Or” is some sort of pole we need to vault over—
(two “ors” look like the jail that we are in).
If we put two ampersands together, 
will their chubby bottoms let us pass through?  
A comma or semicolon can be treacherous; 
they are rocks that snare our code as it tries to sail away.  
And the fatal opening of a parenthesis 
will sink the ship.