Featured Poet: Martha Carlson-Bradley, Hillsborough
Martha Carlson-Bradley has published a full-length book of poems, Season We Can't Resist (WordTech, 2007), and two chapbooks with Adastra Press. A third chapbook, If I Take You Here, is currently in production at Adastra. Martha is a freelance editor and a faculty member in the MA in Professional Writing Program at New England College. She often leads classes and workshops, and has taught for such groups as the Frost Place, the New Hampshire Writers' Project, the Monadnock Writers' Group, the Seacoast Writers Association, and the State of Maine Writers' Conference.
I first got the idea for the poems in If I Take You Here, which includes this poem, after seeing Jane Kenyon and Donald Hall interviewed by Bill Moyers back in 1993. Hall's good fortune as a poet in being able to live in his grandfather's house brought home to me afresh the loss of my own grandparents' house, which was torn down shortly after my grandfather died, when I was eleven. I can visit that house only in memory, and all the poems in this collection are written as though memory is a physical place that we can visit--but that it's a place still subject to all the uncertainty and shifting qualities of memory.
From If I Take You Here
Back again at this back door.
As the cold of the metal latch
sinks into finger joints
it’s November, maybe March—
leaf mold scenting the chill.
Only winter birds are speaking,
their insights brief, and sharp.
Is anyone home? Can I come in?
The spring on the screen door
plays its taut,
© 2011 Martha Carlson-Bradley
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Photo by New Hampshire Writers Project