Nulla Dies Sine Linea

By V. Penelope Pelizzon
On my birthday

A crow guffaws, dirty man throwing the punch of his
one joke. And now, nearer, a murder

answers, chortling from the pale hill’s brow.
From under my lashes’ wings they stretch

clawed feet. There the unflappable years
perch and stare. When I squint, when I

grin, my new old face nearly hops
off my old new face. Considering what’s flown,

what might yet fly, I lean my chin
on the palm where my half-cashed fortune lies.

Source: Poetry (April 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2012
 V. Penelope Pelizzon


V. Penelope Pelizzon’s Nostos (Ohio University Press, 2000), won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. She is also co-author of Tabloid, Inc: Crimes, Newspapers, Narratives (Ohio State University Press, 2010).

Continue reading this biography

Poems by V. Penelope Pelizzon

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Birth & Birthdays, Life Choices, Time & Brevity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.