Rockabye, Martha Zweig

Dale Champlin, Cosmic Nude with Pearls, Collage, 2021


All day prodding petty evils along. Now bed  

will rack me. Bed lurks
above & scowls. Bottom step & each step
up a next stair I can hear
a pillow & two sheets sneer.

Years ago a bed I nuzzled hummed O
sleepyhead, despite & because I’d spun

ugly for hours & cried.
A dog in a story died but actual
Trudge grunted on.

My bed was a boat once.
It lapped & pranced as I tugged
big knots loose & cast off which
way or another the hoist-&-fast
sail might fill– How

does the moon– I began, which wasn’t
at all what I wondered: into each next
word each impulse tipsy-tossed.
They turned themselves over & over
& under, wove & waved.

Martha Zweig


Review by Maura High

The choppy, wash and surge of the sounds of this poem pull this reader right in and under—whoa! Undertow. We are right there dragging ourselves up the stairs to this now-wracked wreck of a bed and no rest at all. As in her other poems, Zweig has found the form and language that fits.


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