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By Roberta Gould

They extend the  days

Our ancestors lacked them

Behind walls of wattle or mud

They slept long

Not prodded by the sun 

and stepped out

to dawn’s silhouette of trees


They praised their walls rightly

unable to equal the power of winter

or the blaze of the summer sun


Confined briefly behind walls now

in clothes of our choosing

our modern floors keep the earth out

worms we pretend don’t exist

and the infinite creatures soaring above 

invisible to us


By Roberta Gould

The pleasure of walking slowly

With nowhere to go

Happy to waddle the streets

With no one along


To plod foot to foot

giving each side its due

sitting and staring 

into nothing at all


To doze without knowing

awake with a start

touched by the sky

its rain pouring down


Roberta Gould's poetry taught Romance languages for 20 years at Brooklyn College and briefly at the University of California in Berkeley. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Now, Catholic Worker, California Quarterly, Milkweed Chronicle, Mid American Review, Jewish Currents, Green Mountain Review, Confrontation, Helicon Nine, Naugatuck River Review, Socialism and Democracy, The Art and Craft of Poetry, among other literary publications, and in anthologies including Mixed Voices, A Slant of Light, Up the River.   

Her most recent books include Woven Lightning, (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2019) Talk When You Can, Tell the Truth  (Presa Press, 2019)

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