Home > The Journal > Sample Poems > Lisa Williams

Lisa Williams

Posted by admin on November 26, 2012


Lisa Williams is the author of The Hammered Dulcimer (1998) and Woman Reading to the Sea (2008). She has poems forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Memorious, Blackbird, Image, and Raritan. She teaches at Centre College in Kentucky.


A Moth

— Elizabeth Bishop, 1929

She passed the asylum on each train ride,

the separate but linked cars

gliding along the rails,

getting close then moving on

again. She came, she went,

unlike her mother, sent

years before. Whether she watched

it rise in sight, whether she looked

or didn’t, whether remembered or

forgotten, she passed the asylum, head in

a book or eyes on people, hills

and lakes, ignoring it, stern and leaden,

hardened to what it was. Forget,

remember, intrepid passenger,

the scorned the loved details.