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Arlene Weiner has worked as college instructor, cardiology technician, research associate in educational software, and editor. She grew up in Inwood, near Manhattan’s northern tip, and has lived in Massachusetts, California, Princeton, and Pittsburgh. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals, have been anthologized in Along These Rivers (Quadrant) and Eating Her Wedding Dress (Ragged Sky) and have been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac. In 2008 Arlene was a MacDowell Colony fellow.

Listen to Garrison Keillor read her poem "1959" on his podcast.


Flamenco Dancer in White

Oh, my girl, city bird, when I see you stand
above the others, head high, skirts high,
I believe you’re beautiful. You’re ready
to stamp your heels, swirl, leaving behind
the gray day, when you peck peck peck,
head down, on the gray street for bread.
You’re not pretty, city bird, you’re like me, pure
as city snow. Now spine straight, neck long,
for a minute you belong above the others.
Stretch upward, assured—fly.
City bird, dance for us, who keep our heads low,
dance more furiously than falling city snow.

From City Bird, copyright 2016 by Arlene Weiner. Do not copy or distribute in any form without express permission of the author..

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