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Paris Pantoum


Lights break apart and reform on the river’s dark water
my husband’s hands on my tight shoulders calm me
the chestnuts are losing their fierce tufts of leaves
the Seine goes on singing its canticle

His hands on my tight shoulders calm me
this business of getting older
the Seine goes on singing its canticle
as above the high buildings, the spidery moonbeams

this business of getting older
we sleep less, tire more, pick up the check
above the high buildings, the spidery moonbeams
look how they lower their wild nets around us

We sleep less, tire more, pick up the check
but we’re still kicking pebbles in childhood streets
the delicate moon-nets float down around us
and rapt in our thoughts, we settle to homework

We’re still kicking pebbles in neighborhood streets
the chestnuts are losing their fierce tufts of leaves
rapt in our thoughts, we settle to house work
lights break apart and reform  on the river’s dark water


Ann Fisher-Wirth’s third book of poems, Carta Marina, was published by Wings Press in April 2009.  Her third chapbook, Slide Shows, placed second in the 2008 Finishing Line Chapbook Competition and appeared from Finishing Line in December 2009. With Laura-Gray Street she is co-editing an anthology of contemporary American ecopoetry in English, forthcoming from Trinity University Press in 2012.  Ann has won a Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, the Rita Dove Poetry Award, a Poetry Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and two Poetry Fellowships from the Mississippi Arts Commission, and has received nine Pushcart nominations and, for 2007, a Pushcart Special Mention.  Her poems have appeared in many journals including 32 Poems, Sentence, The Oxford American, Poetry International, Prairie Schooner, and Runes.  They have also appeared online and in numerous anthologies. Ann teaches poetry and also environmental literature at the University of Mississippi, and has held Fulbright Lectureships in Switzerland and Sweden.  She and her husband live in Oxford, Mississippi, where she also teaches yoga. 


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