Barbara Novack


My desk is an image of before

all the things I was doing reflected

and stopped


in doing, in process

in the about-ness of busy.

Before a traffic light turns red

yellow warns;

there is not the suddenness

of abrupt

with tires screeching

and parcels tumbling

and seat belt snapping you still.

There was no warning.

My desk is an image of before

all that happened.


BARBARA NOVACK is Writer-in-Residence at Molloy College, where she is also a member of the English Department. On campus, she founded and hosts Poetry Events reading series, and off campus, she conducts highly regarded creative writing workshops and programs.