Listen to Poems from Our March Issue | The Sun Magazine
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Listen to Poems from Our March Issue

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • March 15, 2024

The vivid poems in our March issue describe escapes of two very different kinds. In Robert P. Cooke’s “Mountain Flowers” a young man slides into wistful fantasies as he drives his truck past clotheslines in the hills of Colorado. In Wendy Drexler’s poem, a vibrant retelling of a familiar story from the Bible, Noah’s wife flees not only the flood but the swarming, riotous ark that carried her away from it. Click the play button below to listen to the authors read these two transporting poems.

Take care and listen well,
Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor


Mountain Flowers
By Robert P. Cooke

When I was sixteen,
pickup truck, load of hay,
there was nothing I’d rather see
from the window than women’s underwear
hanging on a backyard clothesline.

Size didn’t matter, nor color,
but I preferred to see them on a mountain ranch
because of the ravishing big sky
and the long range of open space
for the wind.

And I’d think, sitting back in my seat and
peering out the window, of all the seeds
being carried away, and the dust, and the
broken-off, fragile blossoms of wildflowers
from horses grazing. And I’d think of the wind
that caressed goats and sheep in spring
on the sloping high meadows.

The bras and panties flapping outside
on the sunniest days. I saw a pair of pink ones
near Fort Collins, the hot breeze causing
a slight shifting from one leg to the other,
and a little twist at the waist,
as if they were slow-dancing.


Noah’s Wife
By Wendy Drexler

Noah, his swelled head, his ego larger than the ark, his crazy
self-promoting savior mania. Because of him we dropped

everything, sank our fortune in cypress wood, and every
filthy creature we couldn’t trap we had to buy with our last coin.

It was hell in there—the boars squalling and farting, ravens
cawing so loud I thought my eardrums would burst. And the snakes.

They terrified me, slithering in their hastily strapped-together cages.
The hippos bellowing and rolling in piss-soaked straw. The rabbits

breeding so fast they began to eat each other. Noah had to grab
my hand to stop me from killing the flies swarming my sweaty neck.

The peacocks dragging their dirty tails. All of us in that squalor,
and the floodwaters brimming with rotting flesh.

I was the one who slopped the decks and mopped and boiled
pots of lentil stew. Noah complained I didn’t put enough

salt on the eggs. As soon as we scraped the mountaintop,
I knew I’d leave him. I fled as fast as the dove he released,

the one that never came back. I guess I owe him for dragging me
away from home. I would have stayed and drowned with our

drunken friends. Instead I’ve spent these last peaceful years
in a small cottage, growing my own onions and flax, gathering

honey, collecting rainwater for my garden in a barrel of leftover
cypress I made with my own two hands.
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