made from simple straw bent over itself
and bound with strong twine, tied to
the pine handle that was painted a dull red.
She used it to sweep the sorrow of him
from the empty room he had made for himself
in the dark corner of the dank basement.
Stalks of it broke away as she swept back
and forth–dust rising, dust of his shed skin
and his disavowed promises. Early moonlight
fell into the eastern window, like a cold sister
signaling the sympathy of pale reflection.
after Rimbaud’s “Le Balai”
David Anthony Sam lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. His poetry has appeared in over 90 journals and his poem, “First and Last,” won the 2018 Rebecca Lard Award. Six of his collections are in print including Final Inventory (Prolific Press 2018), Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson, 2016 Grand Prize winner of the GFT Press Chapbook Contest, and Dark Fathers (Kelsay Books 2019). He teaches creative writing at Germanna Community College, from where he retired as President in 2017 and serves as the Regional VP on the Board of the Virginia Poetry Society.