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Donna Hilbert

DonnaHDonna Hilbert’s latest book is Gravity: New & Selected Poems, Tebot Bach, 2018. Poems or essays have appeared in Rattle, Serving House Journal, Chiron Review, A Year of Being Here, The Braided Way, Cultural Weekly, Sheila-Na-Gig, Verse-Virtual, Zocalo Public Square, The Writer’s Almanac, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous anthologies. She writes and leads private workshops for both beginners and professional writers in Southern California, where she makes her home. Learn more at

Dear Sadness,

You live in a saddlebag
cinched to my hip
by sinew and bone.
To walk with you is hard.
Please, forgive my complaint.
Others hurt more, I know.
When you were fixed
between atlas and axis
like a petrified necklace,
I hurt more.
It was hard to hold up,
impossible to turn.

Walk in Winter

My dog and I stop to watch
as one by one, a heron brings
twigs washed up on shore
to spindly palms that line
the beach-side streets.
It’s early winter, but Heron
doesn’t seem to know, or mind,
that rain and wind will follow
bringing weather far less kind.
To what will come,
my sweet old dog is also blind.
O, for the peace of dogs who know
nothing of winter and letting go.


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