“Deep Midwinter After-Party”–demonstrations then and now….and more…

I’m thrilled to announce that I have been  nominated for a Mass Book Award for my debut poetry collection, Baltimore Girls (2017).

Thank you to Finishing Line Press for this honor!

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If you’d like to purchase a signed –and if you like, inscribed –copy of my book, please email me at lviti@wellesley.edu. $13.99 includes the cost of mailing.

Here’s a poem I wrote in late 2016–which seems particularly appropriate at this time in history…

Deep Midwinter After-Party

Empty kitchen. Morning of snow. Small birds
make quick round trips from bush to feeder.
Hardly a sign of the knot of guests who last night
stood by the French doors, beers in hand
or gathered at the table of empty plates,
glasses half full of wine.

Traces of crackers and salsa marinate
with vegetable peels in the compost tub.
We used to be busy with kids and pets,
used to be the ones driving south for Christmas
getting home to pay the babysitter,
wondering if we’ve ever make up lost sleep.

I saw you lean back in the yellow armchair
listening to the thirty year olds
talk about work, their children, the news.
It made me wonder at how time
had moved up so fast on us, how
we ignored it as long as we could.

We’re old, admit it, I tell myself, don’t have time
for twenty to forty years of reforming  the country,
the world—we barely have time
to read the books we want to,  plant the gardens,
see the fifty states,  see refugees welcomed,
resettled,  find a glimmer of a hint of a possibility
of peace on the planet, this  home to our
benighted race, drowning in stuff or in our confusion.

Years ago, thinking about this didn’t faze me.
We would make it better, we would stop a war,
we would bring down a sneak, lying President.
We would do so much better when it was our turn.
Soon, we’ll march,  show what we stand for, bear witness.
I’m not yet ready to call it quits, but getting close.

Let the younger people take the reins. I’m
straggling at the back of the crowd as it pulses down
Independence  Avenue. You might glimpse me there,
like the gray panthers I used saw on the picket lines
–when I was young and fecund—
time biting at their aching heels.

Originally published in Porcupine, Fall 2017, print