Refuge

Poetry / Shireen Madon

Dear house

                            violated house
                            holding to the riverbank,

              some distance from a grenade’s soliloquy

your daughters wearing crowns of jasmine.

Dear house

                            made of seams
                            and a succession of hungers

              your family, daily,

feeding you a certain measure of terror.

Dear house

                            in a city on the ground
                            in a bed of no one,

              your confinement a singular sickness

your daughters lick from burnished walls.

Dear house

                            of endearing rubble,

              the small animal

of your heart hibernates. You find a way to disappear.

Shireen Madon holds degrees from Columbia University and New York University. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Indiana Review, The Journal, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, and Rattle, among others. A Kundiman fellow, she has been the recipient of awards from Poets & Writers and the Academy of American Poets.