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"Original, extraordinary, and singularly beautiful." – Amos Noy


The natural world slowly overtakes a suburban home, revealing a poignant gap between quotidian domestic life and the emotional currents that subtend it. The poems in Thirst reflect on motherhood, marriage crisis, midlife, and family legacies with clarity and elasticity.

November 2021 | 119 Pp. | ISBN 978.965.7764.29.9

At the Heart of the Night

My children are well bathed. Lying
in beds wrapped with just-changed sheets.
A fox, a hedgehog, and an owl rest on their blanket.
A serpent around their heads.

Baby soap and shampoo-scented lullabies
tempt me to let go of the cares of the day
for a sip from the rivers of love.

In the middle of the night, I wake up
on the couch, burning up with fever
my heart racing to beat against the walls of its chambers
before they are crushed under heavy boards of steel
that press down, closing on my chest.

I automatically count the objects around me:
Here is my daughter’s highchair, here the turquoise
armchair, here the brown wooden counter,
here is the desktop, here the walls of the house that isn’t mine
in lemony white, and everything I may lose
at any moment.

When will it be time to stop and admit that we failed
that we ourselves are two children, and all along
with all the furniture we collected, the babies we brought into the world
to nurse and to hug –
we’ve just been playing house and mom and dad and now
we must put it all back.


KEREN DAVID HARTMAN is a body psychotherapist. She teaches writing and focusing. Thirst is her first book.