Back to School

Between learning Japanese
and planning this evening’s dinner

the day does not slip away
but congeals

like conger eel in quiet jelly,
what we could never have here,

or that plum-cloudy candy
with gold leaves,

sticky in small hands waving
when the children rush outside, too fast,

and all one can ask is:
have mercy on the tender grasses.

Tara Deal is a writer and editor living in New York City. Her poetry has appeared in failbetter, Flyway, nthposition and West Branch, among others. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, Wander Luster (Finishing Line Press), and her novella, Palms Are Not Trees After All, won the 2007 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize from Texas Review Press.