O, She Says

By Hailey Leithauser b. 1954 Hailey Leithauser
O, she says (because she loves to say O),
O to this cloud-break that ravels the night,
O to this moon, its mouthful of sorrow,
O shallow grass and the nettle burr’s bite,

O to heart’s flare, its wobbly satellite,
O step after step in stumbling tempo,
O owl in oak, O rout of black bat flight,
(O moaned in Attic and Esperanto)

O covetous tongue, O fat fandango,
O gnat tango in the hot, ochered light,
O wind whirred leaves in subtle inferno,
O flexing of sea, O stars bolted tight,

O ludicrous swoon, O blind hindsight,
O torching of bridges and blood boiled white,
O sparrow and arrow and hell below,
O, she says, because she loves to say O.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2009).

 Hailey  Leithauser

Biography

Poet Hailey Leithauser was born in Baltimore and raised in Maryland and Central Florida.  Over the years Leithauser has worked as a salad chef, real estate office manager, gourmet food salesperson, freelance copy editor, phone surveyor, bookstore clerk, fact checker, and, most recently, senior reference librarian at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
 
Returning to writing after a break of several decades, her work . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Pantoum

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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