Midge Goldberg's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Atlanta Review, Dogwood,
Edge City Review, First Things, Measure, The Neovictorian/Cochlea, Northern Woodlands, Pivot, Rattapallax, The Lyric, and other journals.
Her poems will be featured on Mezzo Cammin, a new online poetry journal featuring formal poetry by
women, and have also been included in Rhyming Poems: A Contemporary Anthology; and European Romantic Poetry. She won an honorable
mention in the 2003 Robert Frost Poetry Contest and third place in the 2004 Newburyport Art Association Poetry Contest. She lives in Derry, New Hampshire,
and is a member of the Powow River poets. An educational software designer and Yale University
graduate, she received an MFA from the University of New Hampshire (where she was the recipient of the Dick Shea Memorial Poetry Award) in 2006, and now also
teaches poetry at Chester College of New England. Her first book, Flume Ride, was recently published by David Robert Books. It is available at
amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
You know those chores you always have to do,
like mowing grass: I grumble, go outside—
a lawn this size will take an hour or two
at least—put on my Red Sox hat and ride
around designing circles, lines, a border.
I move from shade to sunshine, deftly steering,
looking purposeful and bringing order
so neat and sure—and sure of disappearing.
With all this sun, I know that what I’m doing
won’t last, won’t keep a week; I ride about
to find the pleasure in the not pursuing,
to learn beyond the shadow of a doubt
the patterns that I long to bring to pass
get mown and overgrown like summer grass.
Published in Touchstone
Soccer Match—Rome, 1994
In rooms downstairs excited Romans watch
TV—the ending of a soccer match.
The open windows let the summer heat
carry collective groans onto the street—
a rolling wind that grows into a roar,
then dissipates upon the final score.
Upstairs, your voice is low in the shuttered dark
But can’t hold back one moan that finds its mark,
Exactly targeting some core address.
The sound decreases, slowly fades to less,
But the echo made remains, fills all the space,
and holds me gently still in its embrace.
Published in Pivot
Remember the lilac soap I bought up north,
When we were on that trip, oh, two months back?
The soap is almost gone. Dissolved, it sits
Forlorn, a sliver on the shower rack.
My knee still hurts from skiing that last day.
Romantically we tried a nighttime run;
My falling wasted moonlight on the snow.
I limped back to the car, adventure done.
The soap, the knee—in a story—would portend
Dissolving, breaking down: the lovers’ bane.
But in reality, the soap is—soap.
The knee is not a wrenching sign of pain.
We look for signs to tell us what to do;
The rub is that the looking makes them true.
Published in Troubadour
Daylight Saving Time
On this, the darkest morning of the year,
Who’s out there, glad to turn the clock hands back?
Some death row inmates waiting for the phone,
And lovers with one night to spend alone.
I choose which hour I want to live again,
Which moment to prolong, whose lips to kiss.
A small attempt at travelling back through time,
Most likely worlds won’t change because of this,
No chance to thwart some monumental crime.
I reach across the bed for you, and when
That thought of “Sleep, catch up,” rings in my ear,
I’ll risk it, stay awake, live with that lack.
Someday the clock will call to be repaid
But can’t take back this hour that I’ve made.
Published in Rattapallax
“But what about the fish?” my daughter asks.
We’re reading, for a bedtime story, Noah,
Who’s busy with at least a million tasks
Preparing place for sheep, flamingo, boa,
But there’s no mention of the fish. I say,
“That’s true; of course, they wouldn’t care about
A flood—in fact, they’d have more room that way,”
But why did God decide to leave them out?
Were they unsullied more than beast or bird?
Forgotten? Was it too hard to make disaster
Really work for everyone? No word
On this. They got no promises or master,
Nothing they did not need, no watery bow.
Untouched by God, the fish stayed safe below.
Published by Dogwood