By Rachel Hadas b. 1948 Rachel Hadas
Call me the bee buzzing in the museum.   
The younger sister fussing through a house   
still stiff with loss.
The meddling goblin in the mausoleum.

My dream: with three in the front seat, we drive   
under a bridge and halt. A huge gray bus   
blocks the whole road, including us,
the only travelers who are left alive.

It’s drizzling; the windshield wiper blades   
busily gesture, yet we’re nearly blind.   
You two seem not to mind
blank windows, pulled-down shades.

I mind. I want to get out and explore,
to move around
the deathly obstacle. “Don’t make a sound,”
you say. (Who are you?) “Don’t go near that door.”

Our mountain drive last month—that wasn’t dreamed.   
We three again. We ran a dog down. I
alone looked back, alone let out a cry.
I saw it lying in its blood and screamed.

So tell me what these images portend.   
Am I a noisy bird of evil omen
or just a person, apprehensive, human,   
moving ahead, kid sister into woman,

stonewalled by death each time she rounds a bend?

Rachel Hadas, “Roadblock” from Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1998 by Rachel Hadas. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1998)

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Poet Rachel Hadas b. 1948

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Activities, Travels & Journeys

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Rachel  Hadas


The daughter of renowned classical scholar Moses Hadas, whose early death she has said gave her a “premature sense of the yoking of love and loss,” Rachel Hadas has published numerous collections of poetry, essays, and translations, including most recently the memoir Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry (2011) and the poetry collections The Ache of Appetite (2010) and The Golden Road (2012). Kevin Walzer, . . .

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SUBJECT Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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