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Sonia Greenfield is a poet, wife, former television producer, former office manager, retired bartender, English instructor, and, most recently, mother. She was born and raised in Peekskill, New York, and has lived in San Francisco, Seattle, and Northwest Connecticut. She received her MFA from the University of Washington, and her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2010 and a variety of journals, including Red Rock Review, Massachusetts Review, Antioch Review, Burnside Review and Rattle. She has been a two-time finalist for The Nation/”Discovery” prize, short-listed for the Bridport Prize, and nominated for a Pushcart prize for 2011. Beginning the fall of this year, she will work as an Assistant Lecturer for USC while earning her Masters of Professional Writing. Sonia lives, works, and loves in Silverlake.



the smallest v that this poem
ever lifted its head off the pillow,
put on its filthy slippers, and scuffed
off the doorstep in the first place;
that this poem found its way
on and off the leg of a homing pigeon
locked up for life, his old perch
calling to him; that this poem
ever learned to love; that this poem
was breast-fed, is attuned to human
touch; that this poem crawled from
the primordial muck, gills to lungs,
and gasped its fins into feet;
that this poem found you and
disrobes for you and isn’t made
to feel cheap. the smallest v
divot on a stone in a dry stream, wake
of the swimming bird, bud vase,
flower’s throat, point where
two lives meet.

(Published in The Massachusetts Review, 2009)


In Discovery Park

The hummingbird follows me
through the park and it takes a certain
ear to hear her. You say you wish
I lived more in my body. If you call me
light-boned, I’ll try. Grass fields
and tree patches roll down to the water
in a palette of wheat tones, and the water
is a flat slate of gray that tips up
to the sky, as if the water had pivots
at each end. You wish I were less
of a looking glass. The coin plants have gone
to seed again. How many could
I pay you to keep my heart
a little longer? A million silvered discs
pour through your fingers.

(Published in The Sycamore Review, 2006)


Quarter Rides

There’s a patina of grime
on the pagodas in Chinatown
where dusk drops
against the steamed window
of the dumpling shop
which is one bead on a string
that goes herb shop,
gold Buddha shop,
bonsai shop, repeat
until pinwheels in the pinwheel store
turn to the breeze
and the boy says “bye, wind,”
then blows kisses
I try to catch.

So I carry
pockets of quarters past
the koi fountain
teeming with ghosts,
past the old smoking man, past
the lanterns sunburned red to pink
to the plaza where quarter rides
buck the gloom,
and we pay again and again
until the mechanical frog churns
and gallops the boy
past believing
that joy has to end
with empty pockets.




© 2012 Sonia Greenfield

Sonia Greenfield

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