May 2008

Hilde Weisert


Hilde Weisert is a Dodge Poet for the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Foundation and a past recipient of a NJ State Arts Council Fellowship. Her poetry has appeared in such magazines as Ms, Southern Poetry Review, The Sun, and Ironwood. She is a co-founder of the Society for Veterinary Medicine and Literature. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC and Sandisfield, MA.

My Dashiki    

This year it's forty
but hanging in the attic
it looks like a little girl
hiding in the old coats.

Once it was a woman
out on a summer night
hand in hand with a man,
his own dashiki, white and black
and the colors of this new world, the streets
all dashiki, dashiki, dashiki,

bright cotton flags
flying in fine weather.

There must have been a morning
when the bedtime story ended,
the colors up and flew
to their separate houses,
the fine cotton shrinking
into ghosts of children—

Because we did not—Did we?—ever stop,
drop hands, and, hem over head,
pull off our proud smocks?
We women, we men,
when did we seep into these pale garments,
become these old and buttoned children?



Hilde Weisert: Poetry
Copyright ©2008 The Cortland Review Issue 39The Cortland Review