Fall 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. IV, No. 3


Poetry    Translations    Fiction    Essays   

Deborah P Kolodji


Day One Encounter

She didn’t get the memo. Dressed
appropriately in a white lab coat, she dangled
a stethoscope from her neck for show,
the way my sister does when one of us
is in the hospital. Friendly glance up
from her clipboard, she asked

Do I see a new expectant mother?

Clutching armfuls of Lamaze class
registration forms, baby magazines,
diet tips, name guides, exercise guides,
parenting class schedules, and prenatal
vitamin samples, I must have glowed
my one word obvious answer.

Is this your first baby?

She chatted as if we were old friends
as lit numbers did a floor count down.
It was day one as I looked months ahead
and told her it was my third…her face

Well then, it’s old hat

she said as the elevator doors
closed behind her, steel, impersonal
and cold as I was dismissed
as an enemy to the environment, a breeder
or maybe simply a Catholic. I wondered
if her mother had ever told her

You shouldn’t talk to strangers in an elevator.


Painting an Autobiography

for Milford Zornes (1908-2008)

The rowboat is green,
abandoned like all the empty ones
in other paintings.

On shore,
out of the water
like a foreigner in a strange land.

Were you
when you painted it?

A skiff beached
away from wharf companions
calling to friends and fishing boats

Laughter carries
on the wind, the motor
of a tugboat meting a ship

and at the center
of this watercolor explosion,
away from the action

a lone rock hides the boat
where no one else in the painting
can see it.


© Deborah P Kolodji



Poetry    Translations    Fiction    Essays   

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