Patrick Donnelly


This flashing creature, my niece, dives to the blue bottom

to fetch something I’ve thrown there.


Sudden knowledge strikes me:

I am not the person everyone was waiting for,

but she might be, undine, this slip so whiteblond and blue,

poet for whom all the journals are searching,

teacher, immunologist, secret saint, person

to stand in the way of the long line of tanks.


Or maybe she isn’t the answer, either,

pretty child I see once a year and don’t know well,

little blond screen onto which I project

the miracle my future needs. 


Suddenly lonely, this tacky paradise at the border,

overflown by ravens and the solitary vireo.




“Projection” is from The Charge (Ausable Press, 2003).