The Anonymous Woman Describes the Roomate

Inspired by the art of Bruce Erikson

I was there once, in that landscape,

bedroom a mess and only yourself to blame:

childhood memory carelessly dropped

on the floor, under the table, looking

like a sleeping nude who’s forgotten herself.

Why can’t that woman comb her red hair,

get up from the bed, get dressed?

Even the russet hibiscus languishing

on the side table looks more alive.

She’s probably been hitchhiking

around the country for a few months:

Midwest to New England, Mid-Atlantic

to Deep South, the tip of Key West to the other

side of the Mississippi, the Mountains

to the beginning of the Ocean and land’s end.

That’s what has brought her back

to this small room. Being tired

of being in the world. Her soul filled

with the dark, dead eyes of the voyeur.

Her heart trying to ignore the constant stare.

Linda Nemec Foster is the author of eight collections of poetry including Living in the Fire Nest (finalist for the Poet’s Prize), Amber Necklace from Gdansk (finalist for the Ohio Book Award in Poetry), and Listen to the Landscape (short-listed for the Michigan Notable Book Award). Her poems have also appeared in such journals as The Georgia Review, Nimrod, The North American Review, and New American Writing. From 2003-2005, Foster served as the first poet laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her new book, Talking Diamonds, will be published in the fall of 2009 by New Issues Press. She founded the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College and is currently a member of the Series’ programming committee.