Elaine Terranova


There was this disease
out gobbling up the children.

It grabbed us
around the chest,
beat at our limbs
with mangling wings

so bad
our parents
tried to snatch us back
as if we were in the path of buses

which meant
no swimming pools
no merry-go-round in Hunting Park,
or play with other children
who might be carriers

only the tin tub
on the front porch

echoing with water.

Elaine Terranova is the author of four books of poetry and one chapbook, including The Cult of the Right Hand, which won the Walt Whitman Award, and he latest book, Not To. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. He awards include a Pew Fellowship in Poetry and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.