Poem for Pittsburgh and Assissi,
by Margaret Young

St. Francis’s feast day. More earthquakes in Assisi:
hard to ignore coincidence even quiet
in a cafe courtyard on the Monongahela,
reading tarot with eight ladies of a certain age,
another twentyish in Nikes and one four year old
who’s saying I’m the teacher now
perched on a garden chair
perched in gravel by a pool
where goldfish cut slow circles.
Sun slants down the vine-webbed wall
as readers bend to worksheets, fill in dates,
adding up “personal symbols for guidance and inspiration,”
A yellowjacket stops for sugar,
checks the plastic tub of peppermint, fleabane
and one marigold, dead souls’ carpet,
the same red of these vine-berries
which fall and fall.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 14, Issue 2.

Margaret Young, winner of Bright Hill Press’s Poetry Book Competition for Almond Town, grew up in Oberlin, Ohio. After graduating from Yale, she helped found the Open Door Theater Company, performing Shakespeare and children’s plays in small Pennsylvania communities. She earned an MA in creative writing at the University of California, Davis, and her first poetry collection, Willow from the Willow, was published by Cleveland State University Press in 2002. She teaches at Endicott College and lives in Beverly, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.

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