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. Kevin Walzer, an editor at WordTech Communications who published Hadas’s The River of Forgetfulness (2006), comments that “her work—steeped in her knowledge of classical Greek and Latin, formally . . .

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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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