Literary Spotlight: Dina Elenbogen

Literary Spotlight: Dina Elenbogen

From Vol. VI #6

By Dina Elenbogen

Blame it on the brutal winter
tomatoes still not ripe
enough to pick

her mother at work all day    sometimes missing
until midnight     Now she’s gone

missing  15  black   last seen on her bike   no helmet
wanting to go anywhere
except where she went    missing

I miss you these days
You’ve missed the point of our silence
the place where river turns to lake

Three boys missing in the West Bank
were found    We were right there gathering
Sea daffodils when cell phones rang with the news

The country knew weeks before they announced
that they were no longer
missing  but dead  white  15 15 and 17

I miss when I could speak
in black and white
when words weren’t so often missing

An Israeli soldier missing
in action is dead inside his helmet
What’s missing from the story

is whether he had been captured
first then killed by his own

I miss when I could speak
into your ear instead of dancing over the missing
spaces   the way that poems do

The missing girl’s face
is on the tunnel below the tracks
where I run before sunrise

She has been found now
on the south side of the city
What’s missing is how

she got there
she is safe and the water’s edge where I keep
running is calm

What I miss
most is swimming out to the deep center
which is too cold this summer

Blame it on last winter   the missing sea-glass   the war
that runs through us like wild rivers
                                         even when we are missing

Dina Elenbogen is author of the memoir Drawn from Water (BkMK University of Missouri Press) and the poetry collection Apples of the Earth (Spuyten Duyvil, NY). Her work has appeared in anthologies such as City of the Big Shoulders (University of Iowa Press), Beyond Lament (Northwestern University Press), Where We Find Ourselves (SUNYPress), and magazines and journals such as Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Bellevue Literary Review, Tikkun, and Paterson Literary Review. She earned an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago Graham School.

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