The Word

The word fell into a vat of words
The vat so full sometimes a word
Spills over and is lost

The word drifts down through other words
Mingles and shifts
Letters rub off
Letters are added
The word meets friends
Holds hands becomes conjoined
Takes on other meanings
Lost meanings

When friendships break apart
The joined word becomes two again
Moves in circles
Becomes part of treaties
Ideas love
Sometimes thrown against a hard wall
Of hurt and shame
Sometimes becomes a blanket
Of comfort and shelter

The word is happy in the vat
The word is sad in the vat
The word tries to be good
Yet sometimes sometimes
That is just too hard



When you called
3 crows landed in the maple
then there were 5
from one a feather fell
drifted down – no flight
lone pinion
I picked up
I once was blind
but now can see
sweet Jesus you can
count on me

feather here beside me
everything in its place
yet never all right in the world

where shall they go to dine today
the squirrel flayed at the end of the street
or the skunk stinking down the hill?
they lift and fly straight as…

now down on my knees
where the blue rug ends
and a white cord attaches to a brown
there they are
my glasses swept by a hand’s tide



Bare limbs twist and stretch
along this edge of spume
bones buffeted by winds
a gull feather spindled torn
bark ridged in perfect vee
some piled like bodies in photos
fleshless bones stacked hard
in one, empty eyes and a hand raised
there is no forgiveness

Here on a vast blue day
my body alive leans on wood burnished smooth
a gull and another, movement outside my breath

The blink of my eyes
slower than the waves
I close to colored spots moving
away and back again and again to center

Here my blood courses warm
my limbs still hold me upright
leaning on long sapless branches
my eyes gaze to horizon
over the fine line between sky and sea

Eve Rifkah was co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc. (1998-2012), a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets. Founder and editor of DINER, a literary magazine with a 7-year run. MFA Vermont College. She is author of “Dear Suzanne” (WordTech Communications, 2010) and “Outcasts the Penikese Leper Hospital 1905-1921” (Little Pear Press, 2010). Chapbook “Scar Tissue”, (Finishing Line Press, 2017), “At the Leprosarium” 2003 winner of the Revelever Chapbook Contest. Single poems have appeared in many journals.