The Orange Room Review

Accessible poetry of substance


I Was Four, in Dotted

by Lyn Lifshin


Swiss summer pajamas,
my face a blotch of
measles in the small
dark room over blue
grapes and rhubarb,
hot stucco cracking.
17 North Seminary.
That July Friday
noon my mother was
rushed in the grey
blimp of a Chevy
north to where my
sister Joy would be
born two months
early. I wasnít
ready either and
missed my motherís
cool hands, her
bringing me frosty
glasses of pineapple
juice and cherries
with a glass straw
as Nanny lost her
false teeth, flushed
them down the toilet
then held me so tight
I could smell lavender
and garlic in her
braided her, held
me as so few ever
have since, as if
not to lose more



Recent books from LYN LIFSHIN: THE LICORICE DAUGHTER: MY YEAR WITH RUFFIAN, Texas Review Press, ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME from Black Sparrow at Godine, following COLD COMFORT and BEFORE ITíS LIGHT, DESIRE and 92 RAPPLE. She has over 120 books & edited 4 anthologies. Also out recently: NUTLEY POND, PERSEPHONE, BARBARO: BEYOND BROKENNESS, LOST IN THE FOG, LIGHT AT THE END, JESUS POEMS and BALLET MADONNAS, KATRINA, LOST HORSES. Forthcoming: CHIFFON, ALL THE POETS WHO HAVE TOUCHED ME, LIVING AND DEAD. ALL TRUE: ESPECIALLY THE LIES and BALLROOM. Her web site is www.lynlifshin.com.