Dara Wier
Apology for and Further Explanation of an Attempt to Divert Accusations of Equivocation

In my hometown it was like January,

like January in Oaxaca, in Fortin


de las Flores, like Fortin

in the mid-forties, like the 40s


in December, like December

on the river, a forest of willows


half in, half out of water,

like the river in the picture,


like the picture above your bureau,

like your bureau filled to over-flowing


with feathers every color of the spectrum,

feathers blown through vowels,


through curtains of bougainvilla, going

on forever, forever as it formerly was


in the lustre of a loved one's luggage,

baggage to carry lightly or solemnly


toss-off into the Bay of Fundy.

Thank you for your golden mice


who never wake me up at night,

for the pocket-size surveillance device,


for books which tell me nothing's unakin.

In January it was like my hometown


in the 1940s in the middle of December,

December a cool glass of water at noon


in the summer, a clinking of cowbells

to signal it's evening. I was seven,


four, eight, eleven, still unborn,

brother to my younger sister,


sister to my mother, father like a twin,

twins like vapor trails on clear nights


in October. You were my shadow

I dared not step into. You stood by


my shoulder, champion, angel, faithful

companion I dared not look in the eye.


What was it like for you?

Were you about to step into your skin,


like water poured from a pitcher,

like an ant into amber, like molten gold?


Was the gold like someone's fortune

or folly, folly a moving picture you'd get


into for a quarter, when a quarter meant

more than a dollar, a dollar a bit


of a future you'd be expected to furnish,

I'd be with you to finish


of a finish wearing the date of your birth,

polished with everyone's hopes,


polished with everyone's dreams,

lost in a basket of keepsakes.

Found In Volume 25, No. 04
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  • Dara Wier
Dara Wier
About the Author

Dara Wier’s most recent book is Remnants of Hannah (Wave Books, 2006).  Her work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  Her poems featured in The American Poetry Review were awarded the 2001 Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize; recent work has been selected for Best American Poetry 2002 and The Pushcart Prize 2002. She teaches in the program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.