Jane Miller

Fire Alarm

The diameter of a scream
is four inches

blasting through smoke,
blinking yellow. The same

diameter as the dead raising
their copper voices. At 5:30 a.m.,

his normal waking hour,
I rose, frantic and moving

through confusion, the way
the fatherless can, I fanned

the alarm beating the air
as if my touch could soothe,

as if his face was the wall
I waved to.

Nadia’s Story If Anyone Cares

My town of ancestors
and kin, families
bunched as onion grass
along cobbled roads,
grows into itself
like old Bogdan’s toothless lips.
Stray dogs bark and root
garbage marking the road.

My boy Teo is tall as a pole, all
electricity, he lights the dark
corners of the house.
He leaves. Misery.

At weddings, we still dance
the Hora Mare, young
and old rocking each step,
a gentle hitch of the knee.
Our hands hold us, we circle
back and forth. Stay.

The Fagaras Range lunges
into our valley.
Runners climb out of
their shadows
into themselves, legs
straining as rocks
falter under them.
How hard it is
for the mountain
to let go.

Author Portrait

Jane Miller’s poetry has appeared in the Summerset Review, Mojave River Review, Cahoodaloodaling, Broadkill Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Crab Orchard Review among others. In 2014, she received the Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Delaware Division of the Arts. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware.