Elizabeth Poreba taught English in New York City high schools for thirty-five years and now volunteers as a docent at the Old Merchant's House in Manhattan, a tutor of conversational English at New York University, and a foot soldier for the Sierra Club. She has published a chapbook, The Family Calling (2011). Her poems have appeared in Ducts.org, First Literary Review East and Commonweal, among other print and online publications. She is the author of Vexed.
A Question That Becomes a Complaint
Who is this Person and since this Person
pays me no attention, why must I
mull over our lack of communication?
Accustomed to living with absence,
knowing what a fine weapon silence can be,
why should I brood over this vacancy?
Besides, with no one requiring my company,
I’m free to wonder why whatever I mean by me
requires Someone to see.
I could be cumulative, a packet of eccentricities,
but for some reason, I want Somebody, when I look,
to look back. I want I to I contact.
For a Beloved Minister, Who Committed Suicide
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John/ Hold a horse while I get on
The song he taught the children.
Also his benediction from the back of the church.
I would turn to watch —
May the Lord keep …what was the rest?
His hands up wide, he would turn, the organ swelled,
red carpet, blue ceiling —
Now in another church, I resolve
to bring him home, dredge him out
from an oblivion he sought
May He make His face to shine upon you
I wish the shy child I was could harrow hell to bring him here
and give you peace.
“Bequeath to death your numbness”
- A Winter’s Tale
That doe I saw stagger and imagined
starving through winter is in the orchard,
fat and avid for the windfalls.
My fears for her were useless,
another useless bit of human drama
while she, locked in winter, tended to herself.
The sun is stronger.
It’s fusion or fission, who remembers?
I am warmer.
Winter-weathered leaves scatter
in soft sighs. I listen, but there’s no lesson.
God’s gift is simply to notice this.