Literary Spotlight: Joyce Peseroff

Boot Found on the Side of the Road

See her work in Vol. IV #8
Joyce Peseroff
Joyce Peseroff

Joyce Peseroff is a valued contributing editor to The Woven Tale Press. Her fifth book of poems is Know Thyself. She is also the author of The Hardness Scale, A Dog in the Lifeboat, Mortal Education, and Eastern Mountain Time. She edited Robert Bly: When Sleepers Awake, The Ploughshares Poetry Reader, and Simply Lasting: Writers on Jane Kenyon. She has received fellowships from the University of Michigan, the NEA, and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, and won a Pushcart Prize. She has been Managing Editor, Associate Poetry Editor, and Contributing Editor for Ploughshares, and ran the Phone-a-Poem project at Emerson College.

By Joyce Peseroff

Emergency bucket,
vase for a tumbleweed,
did your mate fall in love with a snake or quit you to roll off
yet another man’s bed?
Toe in the stirrup,
heel narrowed to a spur,
you rode at sunset
thinking to rest empty
under a tin roof—
rain tum tumming,
sweet cornbread, beans,
floor beneath the mattress
swept clean of spiders.
Instead you’re useless
as a peacock feather,
your diamondback leather
tossed like a stoned
hitchhiker, bent double
with laughter after posing
as the Pit Stop Killer.
Now you miss the kick
of human warmth
the way a well longs for water
or a left-handed woman,
lonely for her mirror
twin, grieves for the one
absorbed by the womb.

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