Quiet is what wakes me into accounting


Carol Dorf





One plant droops in the cold

long purple leaves thick stem

could be bromeliad.

                                   What do

I know of plants?  She told me

the baby would learn to love

her playpen

                         a personal space.

Years ago my brother pulled

himself to a stand on the bars

of the pen in the living room —

up and toppling backwards

over and over again.


My daughter screamed never

tolerated the pen or the crib

for that matter.  A moth flutters

towards cirrus clouds.

                                   Birds —

I hear them can’t see any.

Winter light.  Her first word

was bird then bus

                         an electronic

hum that passed our house

every half hour.

                         Running water

in the fountain drowns out little.

I would need the ocean.

When I was young

                                    like water

I was a shape shifter oozing

into any closed container.

I am too free

                         with advice.

It is so hard to listen

to the small plane low in the sky.

A warning

                         then nothing.

This plant thickens with the rains.

I never could stop being water.









Carol Dorf’s chapbook, “Theory Headed Dragon,” is available through Finishing Line Press.  Her chapbook, “Some Years Ask,” is available through Locofo Chaps, Moria Press.  Her poetry appears in The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Scientific American and Best of Indie Lit New England.  She teaches mathematics in Berkeley, California, and is poetry editor at Talking Writing.