Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Valley Forge by Norma DaCrema

When you drive up the hill at 3 am,
there are no grazing deer,
no sleek foxes streaking
through the underbrush,
no possums emboldened by the dark,
no groundhogs, skunks, no squirrels.
There are only eyes,
little flames of orange and red
like amber gemstones
set in a swirling blue-black cape
or strewn among the tail feathers
of a peacock impossibly vast and
sumptuously studded with eyes.
Hundreds of eyes.



Norma DaCrema is a veteran high-school teacher of Religion and English at an independent girls' school in Pennsylvania. A first-year student in Arcadia's low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing, she has published in The Lyric and SkyWave magazine. She lives in Rosemont with her son and four cats, including Bad Randy.

Monday, April 5, 2021

First Day of School by Norma DaCrema

With a dew-gold sheen
still tossed like a sheet
over the whole sleepy world,
a small sorrow is unfolding
for a mother squirrel--
her nest dislodged,
her young undone,
writhing hairless on the road.
The school bus will stop.
Frantic, all chatter and arms,
she pulls her little ones
–stunned, blind, barely living–
to safety at the curb
until only the still one remains.

In stiff backpacks and fresh sneakers,
our children mull over last traces of breakfast
as in silent confederacy
we arrange ourselves in sad rows,
casting shadows just so
the sad things stay there.

Those lessons can wait.



Norma DaCrema is a veteran high-school teacher of Religion and English at an independent girls' school in Pennsylvania. A first-year student in Arcadia's low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing, she has published in The Lyric and SkyWave magazine. She lives in Rosemont with her son and four cats, including Bad Randy.