SPLIT THIS ROCK: Poems of Provocation & Witness

Rosemary Winslow


After a photograph by James Nachtwey–Djacovica, Kosovo, 1999


Morning, if it is morning.
Suit, hat, tie striding.
Scarecrow or man?

Not one bird
of the air
in numbered feathers.

Among rubble, one row house.
Gray windows. Can’t see
through. One street, clear.

Butter sky and striding.
Is he a neighbor, a father,
a son?

Will I ever be done
drawing my body
back into shell?


Nights I have been dreaming
a chambered candle glow
on panoramas of rubble.

I am beyond, regarding
dissolved cities. The sky is yellow,
ringed with night. I fail

to discover my own house.


Rosemary Winslow's new book, Green Bodies (The Word Works), tracks a movement through the grief of lost love and lost loved ones and finds a way back to love, compassion, forgiveness. Her work has appeared in numerous journals (including Poet Lore, The Southern Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Innisfree Poetry Journal) and anthologies (including Voices from Frost Places, The Why and After, Poems of Recovery, and The Farmer's Daughter). Her essays on American poets, style, prosody, teaching writing, metaphor, and other topics have appeared widely in journals, encyclopedias, and books. She teaches at The Catholic University of America and lives in downtown Washington, DC.


Published in Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 2008.

Read more by this author:
Rosemary Winslow: The Whitman Issue
Rosemary Winslow
Rosemary Winslow: The Wartime Issue
Rosemary Winslow: Evolving City Issue