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Ira Sadoff


I Join the Sparrows

I join the sparrows in the snow. As one of them, I stir the kingdom up and to their busy fluttering add a chirp. If I could make a sound to satisfy the heavens, like wind through paper, a harp of wings, if I could join the kingdom of the startled co [...]

Emotional Traffic

A pretty woman in a cape passes by my window.  I like watching her now instead of worrying.   She's lifted from some famous painting by Bonnard, where fruits and breads, bright spheres of light,  yellows, browns and reds, decorate the kitchen ta [...]

After Dreaming

My kitchen's steamier than Eden, and the window's just a wishing well. The eyelids seem to whisper: gaze, then glaze. It's time to shut the senses down the way the rich must bar the shutters of their summer houses each September. For now, my cup's a [...]

Civil Rights

Biloxi, Freedom Summer, 1964 Mississippi was steamy in July, but who expected palm trees to shade the huge colonials, so elegant I could not afford to dream there? Every day it almost rained. I slept in railroad cars and cardboard shacks. Black fami [...]

Vermeer: Girl Interrupted At Her Music

When her mother entered the room, he did not look up. The young girl's pale skin turned white as the shawl she wore. He was pointing to a figuration of counterpoint, or so he said. But there was something in the room of the body giving off light, lig [...]

Vermeer: the Officer and the Laughing Girl

The girl kept her hands folded and tried not to speak until asked. The stories she seemed to love least were of the sea —she wanted to hear about the girls he held captive, the ones he liked to keep. Her eyes shone brightly against the tablecloth, [...]

The Execution of the Rosenbergs

That summer father moved farther away, framed by a larger event: a President elected, the Communists uncovered, and two Jews executed in their place. So mother mourned a parallel of deaths, losses to be measured against the past,At the march I was co [...]

On First Sighting A Man

The widows seem curious, as do the young. The ships have come, full of them, these men with flat, symmetrical frames. How bored the married women are with them, no one can say. Wash hangs on the line, white flags not of surrender or peace: they signa [...]

Oh Happy Day

I turn the TV on. A serenade of platitudes begins. The awful news chronicled with calm. A happy weather man: curious, since storms are brewing like flukes above the ocean swelling, while beside me Linda sleeps. Today her son can't love me. He broods [...]

Fox Crossing A Field

I'm going to try my best to keep out of it. One of my friends is getting married in Vegas. He and his fiancee finds those electric lights, drive-in chapels and heart-shaped beds attractive. Irony's attractive. Elsewhere, Joan's in a solitary cabin ov [...]

The Myelogram

for Julius and Linda The purple dye in the needle makes the spine shiver.     An anesthetic makes it possible to live with it, as the slackened body, enclosed in a tube, is scanned and catalogued. The pain is bearable. All pain is bearable,    [...]