A Poetry Syllabus
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Penelope Scambly Schott’s

verse biography A is for Anne: Mistress Hutchinson Disturbs the Commonwealth won the 2008 Oregon Book Award for Poetry.

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Earth’s shadow sliding over the moon:
suppose I hadn’t understood?

The great dragon sipping the light? Or just
the end of the world?

This is the world that ends over and over and then
goes on without us, our tiny smudge of time.

I once sang a ballad for a whole summer
to the velvet folds in my baby’s arms: Croon, croon.

In my time, said the old lady,
the moon was redder, and men more beautiful.

Perhaps they were. Now
I am that old lady wrapped in perspective

like the sequined veil on my grandmother’s hat.
And look, the moon over the cemetery

slowly coming back.