An Awful Story

By Michael Collier b. 1953 Michael Collier
When she came into his room he was asleep   
and when she touched him, he woke—
her hand on his shoulder, her knee at his mouth,   
and in the darkness, she looked like a boy.

When he tried to sit up she covered his ears   
with her hands: “Save ourselves from ourselves,”   
she said, and then a wind stirred in the room   
as if she’d placed those words in his mouth.

Michael Collier, “An Awful Story” from The Ledge. Copyright © 2000 by Michael Collier. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: The Ledge (2000)

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Poet Michael Collier b. 1953

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Michael  Collier


Michael Collier was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1953. He studied with William Meredith as an undergraduate at Connecticut College, and earned his MFA at the University of Arizona. Poet laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004, Collier is also the director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Maryland. His books of poetry include The Clasp and Other Poems (1986), The . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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