Poetry & Poets

Grace Cavalieri

Grace Cavalieri

Grace is Maryland’s Tenth Poet Laureate. She has 21 books and chapbooks of poetry and 26 produced short-form and full-length plays. Her newest poetry publication is Showboat, 2019. Grace founded and still produces "The Poet and the Poem" on public radio, celebrating 43 years on-air in 2019. The show’s recorded at the Library of Congress and transmitted via Pacifica Network. She holds two Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards (1993 & 2013), A Paterson Poetry Prize, a Pen Fiction Award, the Bordighera Award for Poetry, The CPB Silver Metal and received the Associated Writers' Program George Garrett Award for 2013.

What Was Waiting

From miles across the sprawling ocean,
from the trance of childhood,
my father came to this country
into a stale air of daylight
and broken promise.
Surely all things new were an invasion to bear, the
space between him and others papered over with politeness.
Certainly this must have seemed a bland world of cement
compared to his remembrance of
Nightingales at dusk above the deep green hedges
beyond the orchard, the fragrance of harvest
measured against the trickery of this new world.
What could he covet here?
Perhaps all the stories he'd never tell, maybe because
they were not good enough.
But as I tinker with these handful of words
I create a kind of miracle, a page of his own, where he enters
alive again, more fulfilled than he was, finally loved,
center stage, the star of this poem I am finishing for him.