Carol V. Davis won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg (Truman State University Press, 2007). She is the author of It's Time to Talk About..., (1997), published in a bilingual edition in Russia and two chapbooks, Letters From Prague (1991) and The Violin Teacher (2005). She was twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia. Her poetry has been published in such journals as Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review and in anthologies, including New Poets of the American West (2010), Landaria: Women, Wash and Words, (2009), Nice Jewish Girls, (1996). Ms. Davis has had work read on Radio Russia and on NPR radio, as well as on the program Sound and Spirit and she read at the Library of Congress in Nov. 2010. Davis was the 2008 poet-in-residence at Olivet College, MI and she currently teaches at Santa Monica College. Her new book, Eating Crow, will be published by TSUP in 2012.
Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing
tv the Bizarre Foods host leans over
in Ploughshares - Spring 2010, vol. 36,
Press Review, vol. 11, 2010
LaundromatNothing can brighten this laundromat,
not the fake ivy strung like a clothesline
across its middle, washers on one side,
dryers on the other, nor the framed
jigsaw puzzles under smeared glass.
Germanic villages with steepled churches
and quaint squares tucked sleepily
against the chards of mountains.
Tiles broken and missing, as if the
floor had hosted dance parties after the doors
were locked, the machines' lids lowered.
The twirling stilettos wore it down.
In this giant room on the last Sunday of the year
Guatemalan grandmothers with impossibly
long braids stuff their clothes into the machines,
a locked determination on their faces,
one more obstacle to fight.
While their children watch cartoons,
squeezed into tiny apartments, as the men
drag home without finding work.
I look around, tall in contrast to the other women.
The washers and dryers chatter noisily,
firing up, shaking their hips, flinging wide their mouths.
Oh the stories they could tell,
if only someone would stop to listen.
© 2011 Carol V. Davis
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