As a tribute to our late colleague, here are two poems from her last collection, followed by an appreciation by Robert Roth. The poems appeared in D. H. Melhem, Art and Politics / Politics and Art (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2010), pages 59 and 23, respectively. ©Syracuse University Press. Reproduced with permission from the publisher. – V.W.
I’m holding on to the rail, the ride is so fast.
Yes—let’s hold on tightly as we watch
the waters rise from melting polar icecaps
where bears float off on floes abducting them—
mystified, diving toward caverns of the sea.
And at an aftertime we’ll wonder, too
(a trifle late) where we should emigrate
and just how far inland, and whether erratic
weather will loose a feral vengeance
like downtown floods we fled to higher ground
uptown, and now once more must flee, abandoning
submerged real estate and soggy towers,
address of sharks and whales and bloated bears
and plankton’s avid genes where we began
and might begin again, and then might not.