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Poem of the Month

Robin Becker received the Lambda Award in Poetry for All-American Girl and has held fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard. Her books include Tiger Heron, Domain of Perfect Affection, The Horse Fair, and Giacometti’s Dog. Professor Emeritus of English and Women’s Studies at Penn State, Becker serves as poetry and contributing editor for the Women’s Review of Books.


February 2018

From The Black Bear Inside Me

by Robin Becker



As the animal returns on a beaten path
to the den, we go back over the facts
certain we ignored clear signs.

I left for Italy that summer, though
she had quit her job and moved back home.
I knew it signaled a bad turn but chose

the Tuscan love affair in the seventeenth-century
olive mill.  We say we survive our siblings’
suicides, meaning we stood with our parents

 at the unthinkable graves.  In one theory,
the troubled family sacrifices one member,
as plants surrender leaves in times of drought.

© 2018, Robin Becker. All rights reserved.











© 2018 University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.