Jean Nordhaus


She met us in the nude, having come from the pool
and remained so throughout the interview.
She insisted on showing us around the garden:
the peach tree bearing little globes
of red-cheeked gold, sweet to the tongue;
the robin’s nest with its scrap of sky-blue eggs;
the black-faced sheep and the wondrous tree
with its pale trunk and spreading branches. Once
she stopped in the path standing wide to pee,
explaining “I’m allowed.” She is almost 3.
Her familiar, the dog, follows wherever she goes.
She led us to the basil with its fragrant leaves
and to the flowers. She was named for one of these,
she told us, but her proper name was Eve.

Jean Nordhaus’ volumes of poetry include Memos from the Broken World, Innocence, and The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn. She has served as Poetry Coordinator at the Folger Shakespeare Library, President of Washington Writers’ Publishing House, and for 8 years, Review Editor of Poet Lore. She lives in Washington, DC. Ms. Nordhaus was the subject of our Closer Look series in Innisfree 13.



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