Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Poems: "Cleaning the Office" - Tami Haaland

Essays and handouts go into files.
I toss memos into the recycling, old mail
into the trash, wipe down the desktop,
dust off the shelves, and the office
is clean except that poems
scatter around the computer,
chocolate smears the keyboard,
and this note written on birch bark, found
in the pages of a secondhand book,
leans against the calendar:
Sweet Sara, tonight we sleep
under the full moon, maybe hear wolves,
breathe the scent of fir and pine.
You would like it here Sara. Bear grass
grows along the mountain, paintbrush
and gentain stretch up from the creek,
sparks from the fire swirl
and dissolve under stars.

* * *

Tami Haaland teaches creative writing at Montana State University-Billings and received her MFA from Bennington College. Her work has recently been featured on the Writer's Almanac, in High Desert Journal, The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 5 AM, and The Mom Egg. And in the anthologies, Letters to the World, Montana Women Writers, and Poems Across the Big Sky. "Cleaning the Office" was published in her collection titled Breath in Every Room, which won the Nicholas Roerich First Book Prize.

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