Sunlight shines red

Through my father’s thumb

On the steering wheel



Christmas Eve

So cold we can only laugh

As we climb the hill



Vow of silence—

A meteor streaks across

The windshield



Garbage strike:

Mountains of Kleenex

Drift across the ice



Laundry day

Face buried in your pillow

One last memory



Alyson Pou 1991




In My Dream


Last night I woke up in a world of goldfish.

I turned over in my bed and before my eyes in the bright light of morning,

in columns and bowls of clear water, all across the kitchen counter there they were, hanging, shimmering with feathery tails. Magic fish bodies glittering in lazy elegance, seducing my attention with no regard for the wonder they produced.

And wonderful they are living on in my memory ten, thirty, one hundred of

them. They are the sizes of fruit: lemons, cantaloupes, watermelons.


They float in groups through the universe these little fruit sized planets,

keeping an endless random orbit:

Logical, Chaotic, Mesmerizing


I stare in wrapped attention.

I wonder,

Through the distance and days,

Through the lock, through the door,

With speed and silence and humor,

I wonder who brought me such a nocturnal gift.

I know it was you.


Alyson Pou 1991






Gone four days, a three day journey ahead,

You packed in a rush.


Here is how I catalog the miles:

Your unused milk in the refrigerator,

discarded on Monday.

Half drunk cup of tea,

washed on Tuesday.

Forgotten summer thongs,

into the closet on Wednesday.

Now on Thursday,

The memory of your touch begins to fade.



Alyson Pou 1990




Walt Whitman


It is cold, below 20, Friday night. It snowed last night but

the sun came out today and now there is a shiny crust covering the

mounds of garbage along the sidewalk.

Rattling down my metal door stoop I glance up and see a lone woman

walking the street balancing her sharp black heels on the center ridge of ice.

Her green spandex pants catch the light like some fairy tale serpent.

I cross the street stomping loud holes in the deep crust as I walk.

I cross the park in front of me a big black rat is sliding and wiggling across the ice.

Waiting at the corner I watch my breath hang grey in the air and disappear.

The shadows from the traffic light turn read across my feet. Walt Whitman comes to mind as I twist the volume up on my walkman and smile.



Alyson Pou 1984