Poems and Poetry

Diane Woodward Dorff

A Few Thoughts on Time and Place | A Poem by Diane Woodward Dorff

It is clearly a misperception,
A misconception,
A self-deception,
That I am only here and now
And nowhere else.

Parts of me are here.
Perhaps my aching knees.
Perhaps the hand that holds a grocery list,
The eyes that look up at this yellow quarter moon.
Parts of me are clearly here.

But parts are living where they were born;
Scattered over
Many years and many places.
I have a current passport
And all my papers
For traveling.

Parts of me are clearly somewhere else, sometime else.
In my English classroom during the Vietnam war;
With my short skirt and knees that do not hurt, even a little.
Part of me is still there, waiting for another visit.
Because it is, after all, a timeshare agreement.
Sitting on the hard wooden seat at my desk,
Looking at my friends and almost friends,
All of us listening to our teacher’s outraged voice
Announcing that we have invaded Cambodia.

I flash sometimes from time to place to place to time.
Destinations no less real than the kitchen where I sit,
Where I keep collecting the many times and places
Wherein I am.

Agnes | A Poem by Diane Woodward Dorff

I remember

a Monday
grey darkness outside
your little apartment
home to a husband
a son
a daughter
and you

here while
the rest of your family starves and shudders
and cries in Liberia
battling the unspeakable evil
called Ebola

we watch the video
on your phone
the people in the street
deciding the best answer to fear
would be a parade

bright colors moving through
the streets before
walking home for the quarantine

your family
far from the city streets
in a tiny village

less chance to meet
the virus
but so much more helpless
without a hospital
should the enemy strike


I think of you when
I see calling birds
through the darkening sky