December 12, 2005
by Lyn Lifshin

white moon from
the kitchen table.
Glitz thru bare
dark as antlers

The empty nest,
a bed of twigs.
Somewhere west,
a man closes his
butcher shop for

good years after
his wife climbed
into the attic.  There
were stories, the
girl strangled with a

baby inside her,
just moved to Boston,
one of, was it 12
other victims

Police cars near the
Methodist church.  January
snow soot stained.

I too was starting a life

I couldn’t live in

by Lyn Lifshin

abandoned, always when
there wasn’t any light.
Night spread its blackness
like sheets in a house
where no one lives

I think of my mother
on the phone then, how
here, too, we’d talk and
talk.  When did I first
feel so abandoned?

Not by my father who
never talked or the wild
cold men I tried to
tame.  No, they were
predictable as the

ice on their fingers.  So
why now, when her
leaving didn’t do
it does every house
feel full of ghosts?

by Lyn Lifshin

less than ten more days.
Charcoal sky this morning,

not even the geese.
Pink streaks, then

back to charcoal.
Who would think,

tightening a rope,
of those cleaning the

blood later.  That was
a story from someone

no longer.  Soon I’ll
scoop up the cat,

hot as a warm stone,
the coves of the house

like another’s body


Lyn Lifshin has published more than 120 books of poetry.  One of
her recent collections,
Another Woman Who Looks Like Me (Black
Sparrow at David Godine, 2006), has been selected for the 2007
Paterson Award for Literary Excellence for previous finalists of the
Paterson Poetry Prize.  Recent publications also include
Beyond Brokenness
(Texas Review Press), 92 Rapple Drive
(Coatlism Press), Desire (World Parade Books), Lost in the Fog
(Finishing Line Press), Nutley Pond (Goose River Press),
Persephone (Red Hen Press), and Light at the End (Clevis Hook
Press).  Lifshin has won numerous awards for her poetry and
nonfiction, edited four anthologies of women’s writing, and been the
subject of an award-winning documentary film,
Lyn Lifshin: Not
Made of Glass
.  For interviews, photographs, additional biographical
material, reviews, interviews, samples of work, and more, her website

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 4, Number 1
(Spring 2009)

Copyright © 2009
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.
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