Diane Elayne Dees poetry

A Decade Blown By

Huddled under an unconscious haze
of faded blue roof, we still begin
sentences with “Before Katrina”
and “After Katrina.” Never quite sure
whether something – a shop, a clinic,
a way of life – still exists, we search
the Internet, do the mental inventory,
consult each other. We talk in code:
“He’s aged, “It’s gone,”
“…when the trees were there.”
Some started over, some went away
and never came back. Some died,
some drift silently by in a rolling
fog of Xanax and uninvited memories.
Katrina weeds choke the perennials
in our yards – daily reminders
that none of our landscapes
will never be the same.

The Last Time I Felt Connected To My Body

Was it the time that I sat close enough to view
the ornamental stitching on Midori’s
gown as she offered me Sibelius
like a sacramental goblet at an altar?
Was it when I heard the metronomic swinging
of two rackets as the green clay formed fine dust?
Or when black and white surrealistic photos
made me feel like I might drop in a dead faint?
Perhaps the time I held a large sledgehammer
and transformed my wedding ring into debris.

My body has an instinct to survive,
to eat and drink and sleep through fitful dreams,
to push and pull and press and lift and sprint.
It doesn’t seem to have much need of me,
or what I thought was “me” before I noticed
that the long-term trauma that we called our marriage
had vaporized what some might call my soul.
Will we ever meet again, me and my body?
Or have I wandered so far from the living,
I cannot seek my bones, my breath, my blood.


Baptize me in the River Ouse.
Let me sink from the weight
of my oppressive thoughts,
heavier than boulders,
breccia formed from
the landslide of my history.
My pockets forever emptied,
my skirt a dripping prism
of conflicting impressions,
I will drift into soft waves
of unknown indigo.
Lift my body, clean and light,
and let me gasp for breath
until breath
is all
that matters.


Diane is a poet and psychotherapist who lives in Louisiana.