Heart Valve

By Elizabeth Arnold Elizabeth Arnold
They told me there’d be pain

so when I felt it,
sitting at my beat-up farm desk

that looks out glass doors

onto the browning garden—plain sparrows
bathing in the cube-shaped fountain

so violently they drain it,

the white-throats with their
wobbly two-note song

on the long way south still,

and our dogs
out like lights and almost

falling off their chairs

freed of the real-time for awhile
as time began for me

to swell, slow down, carry me out

of all this almost
to a where

about as strong a lure as love.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2010
 Elizabeth   Arnold


Elizabeth Arnold has published three books of poems, The Reef (1999), Civilization (2006), and Effacement (2010). A scholar as well as poet, Arnold earned her PhD at the University of Chicago. Researching the poet Mina Loy for her dissertation, she discovered the poet's lost novel, Insel. She edited the work, which was published by Black Sparrow Press in 1991. Arnold has received numerous awards for her work, including a Bunting . . .

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Poems by Elizabeth Arnold

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Health & Illness

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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