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Snowy Woodland Trees


Poem of the Day:

Braiding His Hair
by Alison Luterman
originally published in The Sun

Here we are each morning:

my husband on our old kitchen chair, its upholstery

mended with duct tape, his head bent forward

while I comb out his long

wheat-colored hair. Not what I thought

we’d be doing in our sixties,

me dividing the wet silk of it, still stubbornly

reddish-gold, only a little

white at the sideburns. Three thick hanks

in hand, I begin to plait: over, under, over, under.

I don’t remember when he stopped

cutting his hair and decided

to let it grow long as a girl’s —

and he was mistaken for a girl once,

a tall, stoop-shouldered man-girl,

when he stood on the sidewalk, back turned,

and a car drove by, honking and catcalling.

At him, not me. We laughed,

but I had to wonder: When did his tresses, now

halfway to his waist, first spill

over his shoulders? It must have happened while we slept,

as most things do. And how did he come to sit

before me so patiently now, head bowed while I braid,

as if he were the daughter I never had

and this my one chance

to weave my care into each over, under,

over, under?

When I Heard About the Gunman

Published in Rattle, Summer 2013

who opened fire in a movie theatre,

armed and armored, neck, groin and head;

gas-masked, with automatic rifle

killing and wounding as many as he could,

I was endeavoring to wedge my car

into the space left between hulking SUVs

at the crowded grocery store

and the radio was on; it always is.

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Married, but Certainly Not to Tradition

Published in The New York Times, July 16, 2006

The groom’s mother wore a peach silk suit and an expression of mingled happiness, anxiety and bemusement. The other groom’s mother wore a peacock-blue dress and a similar expression, one that seemed to combine “I can’t believe this is happening” with “What a beautiful day, what a lovely chapel, what nice well-dressed people — just like a real wedding.


One groom’s father needed to step outside and smoke a lot. The other groom’s father was dead. Nieces were in abundance, though — a bouquet of skinny adorable girls, dressed in hot pink and giggling with excitement.

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Some Girls

Published in the New York Times magazine, August 2020

Some girls can’t help it; they are lit sparklers,
hot-blooded, half naked in the depths of winter,
tagging moving trains with the bright insignia of their
I’ve seen their inked torsos: falcons, swans, meteor
And shadowed their secret rendezvous,
walking and flying all night over paths traced like veins
through the deep body of the forest
where they are trying on their new wings,
rising to power with a ferocious mercy
not seen before in the cities of men.


Feral City

Published in The Sun, May 2012

My husband, Lee, was the one who heard the abandoned kittens piping and squeaking like an off-key orchestra composed entirely of piccolos and penny whistles. They were hidden in the overgrown weeds of the front yard, and it was raining. There were six of them, looking like featherless baby birds. I came home from work later that evening to find myself the proud foster mother of a half dozen minuscule, mewling, shit-smeared creatures.

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