Two more poems by Baila Ellenbogen

Thread You

The pastel snow
that never darkens
in the suburbs
plumbs sound out of night:
an errant plow,
rerun siren.

I sit by a window
and finally know
that religious belief
may not be able
to thread you
through the needle
of the impossible
without tearing
your wings off.


Two Paths Diverged and I Took the Vertical Rise

charmed by holy men, women hanging on
with gracious teeth and children who had
suckers on their feet; crowds that danced
precariously, drinking

to forget the angle. I chose the
path for spiders, guillemots  and gulls
black and white apparitions with
many legs and none of the expected

sense of vertigo. Although I tried
to enjoy a meaningful life where
each step brought me higher and each
struggle was infused with muscle and

a denial of gravity,
eventually I tired of the
vertical smiles, standing
180 degrees at attention,

and holding so tightly to my children’s
hands. So, I plunged and tumbled
back to the bottom. The other
diverging path was nowhere to be

seen but there was a suburban side
road with buttons to select walk signals
and a public school at the end of
the block. Through the long hair of September

radio shows  buzzed and coffee shops were
filled with things that make
horizontal life bearable,
even happy.  These days I

sometimes still see those people from the
cliff, as they rush through the supermarket
clinging to the shelves, their children careful
not let up toe holds on the cart.

About Baila Ellenbogen

Baila Ellenbogen is a poet and psychoeducational consultant who resides in Vaughan, Ontario, with her family. Her first book of poetry, “Footsteps on the Ceiling” was published with Guernica Press in October 2010. She has also published poems in Pinking Shears Publications’ anthologies: “Sinai to the Shtetl and Beyond,” v. 1 and 2. Upcoming publications include poetry she has contributed to a textbook for high school students being published by McGraw Hill Ryerson, and an anthology of “poems about poets”, to be published by Guernica Press

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