A Poem by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

When Kelley Hunt Sings

The first velvet words land right in the center 
of whatever we think we know. By the time
the drums pick up, we're ready: hips tilted to one side,
shoulders to the other, the drum beat an ocean
in high wind, a hummingbird in our chests.

The fire warms us across the distance, right here
in Liberty Hall, on the last night of a decade.
When we inhale, we're down at the riverside. 
Exhale, and it's not over when it's over. 
There’s a mountain of voice, her hands dizzying 
across the keyboard or red guitar, each low note 
catching the best of the sun nearing the horizon.

Then the sudden rise of voice and horns, the strongest 
wings, heavy as the siren call of all we can’t live
without but do. We rush back to the dance floor, 
boogy-woogie our muscles into the lone star road 
of twist and rise, and lift our sights above 
the blue notes, into the beautiful dark.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of 23 books, including Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, poetry. Her previous work includes The Divorce Girl, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir on cancer and community; and six poetry collections, including the award-winning Chasing Weather with photographer Stephen Locke. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely.


2 thoughts on “A Poem by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

  1. Oh how well you have lifted us all from our chairs, dancing as we rise into the music!

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