Sarah Estes Graham


A couple stand aimlessly
over the foot of their bed,
watching themselves tangle
in the bare sheets.

Chaos a sexual luxury
afforded early in a relationship,
no children.
Entrapment, a favored anger,
arousing, solid.

God shoulders a burden
in the foreground,
hungry for attention—
for anything, really.

Peers, sighs,
desperate to save His reputation.
The parents and house
turn mightily on their foundations
as if staged, hinges glistening with sweat.

So warm here.
The latest in theater soft-ware.
No lovers no children no god
no raccoons with rabies,
whispered hairs of spring bleeding

into summer, into the worn fall.
Choices spin like roasting hens.
An eternal display of spitfire,
grocery lanes, shrieks and fast cars.

The enraged lovers
would like to own one another,
something anyhow.
God in the helpless corner—

They turn on him,
as to a woman, a child
and move.

All my want and indecision,
days wandering the far fields of faith,
the hungry winters of infant hands
going after the mobile, day and night,
then thought, then nothing—
a lover rolled over the guilty hours. 
Now a pudding, sweet and thick.
Now a dandelion, mint-leaved and dark.
Long swallowed the sensual forms
of poetry and desire,
that game you staked your life on.
Nothing to do but offer yourself
palms brimming with pemmican and berries,
wild winter fruits to eat. 

Sarah Estes Graham is a freelance writer and the GAGE program coordinator at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Agni, A&S Magazine, Facets, Meridian, New Orleans Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and others.  Sarah has received grants from the Bread Loaf Conference, the James River Conference, and the U.Va. English Department, and won a $10,000 prize for her essay on Iraq. Her poetry manuscript was short-listed for the Dorset Prize from Tupelo Press. She got her MFA from the University of Virginia studying under Rita Dove, Greg Orr, and Charles Wright, and has a master's in theology from Harvard, where she also worked with Jorie Graham, Kyoko Mori, and D.A. Powell. Raised in rural Illinois and suburban St. Louis, Sarah has lived in Belgium and Japan and traveled across Mongolia, Siberia, and Europe. Her work blends the geographic and spiritual resonances of her native Midwest with cultural practices encountered abroad. Sarah is of Blackfoot descent.



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page

A CLOSER LOOK: Dan Masterson

Brienne Katherine Adams

John Allman

Bruce Bennett

P.D. Bresnahan

Norma Chapman

Joanne Rocky Delaplaine

Carol Frith

Bridget Gage-Dixon

Sarah Estes Graham

John Grey

Gabe Heilig

Oritsegbemi Emmanuel Jakpa

Rod Jellema

Jennifer Juneau

Claire Keyes

Jacqueline Lapidus

Hiram Larew

Barbara F. Lefcowitz

Donal Mahoney

Laura Manuelidis

Nancy Meneely

Lisa Mullenneaux

Sherry O'Keefe

Scott Owens

Patric Pepper

Allan Peterson

Oliver Rice

Craig van Rooyen

Maggie Schwed

Janice D. Soderling

Paul Stevens

Jeanine Stevens

Garland Strother

Naomi Thiers

Ernie Wormwood

Bill Wunder















Last Updated: Feb 22, 2020 - 12:30:13 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2020 Cook Communication.