Leslie Ullman Click to

Leslie Ullman’s first book, Natural Histories, recieved the Yale Younger Poets Prize, and her subsequent books are Dream by No One’s Daughter (Pittsburgh, 1987) and Slow Work Through Sand (Iowa, 1998). She is an emerita professor at the University of Texas, El Passo and teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program. She recieved NEA fellowship in 1976 and 1989

All these greenings and gleanings
in the fields, and her own body moving easily
in and out of the weather. Her parents
still themselves in their glowing home
far away, poised to welcome her.

Sometimes the memory of another house
and the sullen silences that filled it
and the abandoned water tower behind it
where she sneaked away after quarrels
to weep alone, old at thirty.
Now her will sails on, nothing

to impede it, as the men, even the ones
who’ve done the leaving—a lover
damaged by divorce, a lover damaged
by war—shrink far behind.
Even the two horses seem to
linger in their long prime,

the bellied sling of these middle years.
The rhythms of the fields.
Her solid little house.
Some evenings a run in the fading light.
Or dancing, then driving home alone
and happy, sweat drying under the sequins.


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