Saturday Apr 13

Collins photo (Doug Macomber) Martha Collins is the author of the book-length poem Blue Front (Graywolf, 2006), which won an Anisfield-Wolf Award, as well as four earlier collections of poems, two collections of co-translations of Vietnamese poetry, and two chapbooks. Editor-at-large for FIELD magazine and one of the editors of the Oberlin College Press, she is serving as Distinguished Visiting Writer at Cornell University this spring.

                        October 2007
She could not stop weeping,
            she thought, but she could
not weep: she
was an other—within,
            she knew, but she seemed
                        without, like that woman
in white on the forest
            path, the one
she’d imagined
instead of the man, the man
            was merely a path
to the woman
who walked with certain
steps between the dark
trees, and though
that woman did not
weep, she who could
not weep suddenly
knew that this woman
who could not stop weeping
was, like the woman
in white, better
than she, stronger
            than she, one
who could weep for not only
            her own small loss
but also
the world, its dead
            its dying its hungry
                        its cold, could weep
for her country, its killers
            its killed its cold
                        cold heart that would
not could not weep because
like herself who could
                        not weep it thought
itself strong, the one
true path through the dark
                         the forest the cold.

Martha Collins photo by Doug Macomber