By Eleanor Ross Taylor 1920–2011
She’s sitting at my little desk,
drinking decaf.
How’d she get back in?
Where’s her blind man gone?
(I pray he’s gone—
though the desk needs tuning.)
What door was unlocked?
They all seemed bastioned.

I sight through the crack.

That’s my favorite cup,
with the bite out of it.

She’s writing one of my poems.

Just who’s sitting at that desk,
playing me?

Shrubbery, thrashing to get in,
lines all panes,
long windows split in parallels.

My windows set out
on separate expeditions.
They never meet,
no matter how far extended.

Source: Poetry (October 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2010
 Eleanor Ross Taylor


Eleanor Ross Taylor was born in 1920 in Norwood, North Carolina, and graduated from Women’s College, now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in 1942.  While studying at Vanderbilt University, Caroline and Allen Tate introduced her to novelist Peter Taylor, whom she would marry in 1943. Her poetry has been described as elegiac, lyric and feminine; writer Erica Howsare explains, “The southernness of her background . . .

Continue reading this biography

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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