Sarah McCann was a Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and has published her poetry in such journals as The Bennington Review, Margie, The Broken Bridge Review, Midway Journal, The South Dakota Review and Hanging Loose. Her translations from the Modern Greek into English have been recognized by the Fulbright Foundation with a grant and published in such anthologies and journals as Austerity Measures, Words Without Borders, Poetry International and World Literature Today.  She has also had the pleasure to edit a collection of poetry from the late American poet Robert Lax, Tertium Quid, and a book of her translations of the Greek poet Maria Laina is available from World Poetry Books through the University of Connecticut.


Sarah McCann


The days we knit preparing for this

day    the days passed also sleeping

on it    the days presidents past kept

kicking the door down     the days in

scurvy with our telephone smiles

the days fingers stretching the fibers

of the bones and so on


And here we are, the whole nation

awhisper     and here we are, uptown

and downhome     and here we are, with

our pets and bicycles and nothings     and here

we are, in glasses and free-eyes     and

it’s a wash     and all a front     and we

are here, in unnamable pain, afraid even

to touch each other


But our eyes are up and about and larger than anything

allowing everything, and everyone, in

Upon Anniversary

Sarah McCann


There are red cities

hiding in the shadows

of our marriage.


I observe

my bouquet,

all violets.


You are my shutting

lids.  And a slow mirror:

you close your eyes


when we are kissing only

after you see

my eyes close.


Even still.  Some things

you can never anticipate

and you could never guess.


The lurking private

underneath the gross bark

is also the sap, sugary and wild.


The laboring

ants pulse

there honestly.

Wedding Morning

Sarah McCann


They chose the equinox on purpose –

one foot in the slipping mirror-pools

of spring, one ear to the trust-thud of summer.

Syllables of orange pulp smooth over their tongues


as they wait, separate, at breakfast.  Outside, the storm propels

eels of light and water to and from the thunderhead.

Reeds by the rising river shelter earthworms only so long.

They wonder about Wuthering Heights and –


isn’t the weather its own prediction?  They don’t think long.

They do something different.  They sip at juice

and sunbathe there.  They, the simple service, the words


repeated – every word that has ever been said – they, on tiptoes

at the causeway, waiting for the world

to say: It is okay.  Weigh anchor.

The Movies

Sarah McCann


You and I climb something so small

it is visible only after vodka.


Threadbare trees double over in shadow.


Onions kicked up in the air by the first mow.


Floods, glaciers come, gone,

and only the weight remembered remains.


A balding head with its last hairs

cemented, sadly.  Rivulets

drooping down the waves of an ancient,

shape-shift pane.


Our thoughts inflate the scene.


Phrenology.  Mural.


You and I have talked about

how language

in its nature not in its god or origin

is in abuse and gossip.

Check for yourself.  We’re trouble.


And we think.  Ah,

that can be our charity.


What better than our senses?

Let’s leave our words like peeping mice

at the threshold – content with the trapped

scraps of grass, hay, and summoned

by the sound, but weary with the words.


We have readied some point,

but everyone not you and not me

knows it doesn’t matter.


The trees recede on their tide of light.


The onions settle and quiet their cries.


The grass extends its many ears to evening.