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Tamara Madison

tamara.jpegTamara Madison is the author of the chapbook The Belly Remembers, and two full-length volumes of poetry, Wild Domestic and Moraine, all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, Your Daily Poem, A Year of Being Here, Sheila-Na-Gig, Nerve Cowboy, the Writer’s Almanac and other publications. She is thrilled to have just retired from teaching English and French in a Los Angeles high school.

To a Grieving Friend

When Grief with its dark bulk
bars your friend’s door,
there are no right words.

In time, Grief will lie down,
close one eye and then the other.

That is when you will hear
my heart, dear friend, drumming
low and steady just outside.

Blue Nude

We did not spend Christmas
Together that year,
My husband and I, but
Before he left
For wherever he was going
With the woman
Who was older,
Sexier, more
Accomplished than I,
He brought over
Such nice gifts:
A white turtleneck
(I already had one)
And a print
Of a Matisse Blue Nude.
I stayed home that day.
It was cold, gray, snowless.
And because I was in fact
Relieved to have him gone,
Although it hurt, although
It would take me years
To understand what we both
Must have known
In the deep wordless core,
The faceless woman,
Blue limbs folded in a pose
That is almost yoga,
A pose he must have seen
Me in dozens of times
In our few years together,
Has hung on a wall
In every home
I’ve lived in ever since.
The ivory background
Deepening to a pale gold –
Her only sign of age.

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