What’s Broken

By Dorianne Laux b. 1952 Dorianne Laux
The slate black sky. The middle step
of the back porch. And long ago

my mother’s necklace, the beads
rolling north and south. Broken

the rose stem, water into drops, glass
knobs on the bedroom door. Last summer’s

pot of parsley and mint, white roots
shooting like streamers through the cracks.

Years ago the cat’s tail, the bird bath,
the car hood’s rusted latch. Broken

little finger on my right hand at birth—
I was pulled out too fast. What hasn’t

been rent, divided, split? Broken
the days into nights, the night sky

into stars, the stars into patterns
I make up as I trace them

with a broken-off blade
of grass. Possible, unthinkable,

the cricket’s tiny back as I lie
on the lawn in the dark, my heart

a blue cup fallen from someone’s hands.

Dorianne Laux, "What’s Broken" from Facts About The Moon. Copyright © 2007 by Dorianne Laux. Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Source: Facts About The Moon (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 2007)

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Poet Dorianne Laux b. 1952

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity

 Dorianne  Laux

Biography

Dorianne Laux is the author of several collections of poetry, including Awake (1990); What We Carry (1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Smoke (2000); Facts about the Moon (2005), chosen by the poet Ai as winner of the Oregon Book Award and also a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and The Book of Men (2011). She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National . . .

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Poems by Dorianne Laux

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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