Wendy Mnookin

Wendy MnookinWendy Mnookin’s most recent book is The Moon Makes Its Own Plea. Her other books are What He Took, To Get Here, and Guenever Speaks. Widely published in journals and anthologies, Wendy is the recipient of a book award from the New England Poetry Club and a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at Emerson College and at Grub Street, a non-profit writing program in Boston. You can find out more about her work at wendymnookin.com.





down their branches

willows weep

what’s hidden.

mouth the need

for wind. Bark
furrows, wanting

touch, not wanting it.


Who Wins

Pick a hand!
the uncle cries
and hides behind
his back
clenched fists.
We have to
choose. One
hand or the other.
All or nothing.
My sister sings
that one, no,
this one, dancing
from one foot
to the other.
It’s a good show
but up against
my silence she
has no chance. My
nimbus of need,
pale and urgent,
pulls even the uncle
into my spell, tilts
his hand almost
imperceptibly. But
you, growing up
with a brother, played
different games.
My silences, no matter
how long, how
deep and determined,
don’t pull you
toward me even
the slightest bit.

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