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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 9: August 2021
Poem: 92 words [R]
By Diane Thiel


At night this quiet covers me, 
grown ragged on the center seam, 
dividing all this history. 

I touch the patches always known, 
the ones they wrapped me in, passed down 
for far too long for anyone 

to still remember what was cut, 
that it was once a blouse, a skirt 
she wore the night he took her heart. 

I touch the fields I thought I knew 
and smooth the places healed into 
each other, at the ridges sewn 

with careful secrets mouthed for all 
the years she couldn’t tell a soul. 


—From Light Enough (Albany Records, 2018); appears here with poet’s permission. An earlier version of this poem appears in her book Echolocations (Story Line Press, 2000).

Diane Thiel
Issue 9, August 2021

is the author of ten books of poetry and nonfiction, including Echolocations and Resistance Fantasies. Her new book of poetry, Questions from Outer Space, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Thiel’s work has appeared in many journals, including Poetry, The Hudson Review, Rattle, and the Sewanee Review, and is re-printed in more than sixty major anthologies. Her awards include a PEN award, the Robinson Jeffers Award, the Robert Frost Award, the Nicholas Roerich Award, and an NEA Award, and she was a Fulbright Scholar.

Thiel received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Brown University and is Professor of English and Associate Chair at the University of New Mexico. She has traveled and lived in Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia, working on literary and environmental projects.

More information, including readings and lectures, may be found at her website: www.dianethiel.net

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

The Minefield by Diane Thiel, first published in Best American Poetry 1999 and reprinted numerous times, including in KYSO Flash (Issue 6, Fall 2016)

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