Karen George

In the net of dusk,

the stub of day. Guttering sunlight
shifts, creates a screen on a pool of water.

A woman moves through a squat, stone house
dusts frames and ledges slowly, a sore hip.

At the window she stares at the open
field where they spread many a blanket.

The tender stories and what-ifs
bear down like a slab of granite.

She wills the ache to lift, the stars to pool
the dark, collect above the high, hollow tree.

Nothing spreads her longing
like the rustle of corn in wind.


Source & Method

A found poem composed/modified from words in Lucia Perillo’s poem, “Women Who Sleep on Stones.” I selected individual words by sound and image from poems I loved, made a list, found ways they connected to other words. If the source document contained hope, I might modify it to hopeless, or alter she to he, you, or I, or separate heartache to heart or ache.


Karen George, author of the collections Swim Your Way Back and A Map and One Year, has work in South Dakota Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Adirondack Review, Louisville Review, Naugatuck River Review, and SWWIM.


Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash