Three Poems by Joan Rohr Myers


Denied ordination
by virtue of sex,
I find it ironic
that God sends me
a consistory of cardinals
red-robed and chattering.

Within yards of my touch
they rest on the hedge
near the window
and must understand
the wall they can’t see
would break their bones
if they flew full-force against it. One move from me
and they’d disappear
unless glass this thin works like a mirror in the day’s early light.

They see only themselves
safe on bare wood
and I watch
as they take what they need:
the oil I leave
in sunflower seeds
the color of ashes.



Two dozen daffodils
held in clear class or white
are drawing the sun
and your eyes.

After so long an absence
we need something bright
to pull us together.

“I have always loved
the light in this room.”

In the basement below
cider bottled last autumn
discovers its sparkle.



There is more at stake here
than witch bones burning.

In the shadow of epics
bites the sweet songs
for old dead men
and spurns a single truth.
Muslin and milk
make a long-limbed climb
to move the margins of being
as an unnamed nudge
at Noah’s side
“You’ll need to touch
a second skin.”

And there is madness
suggesting tidy answers
pinned in dissection,
as if two halves were still a whole,
as if the space between
were not a fuse
its long goodbye.

Joan Rohr Myers, an award-winning poet and playwright, taught communication arts at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for more than 25 years. She died on November 5, 2023.

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