Two Poems by Donna Hilbert


I waken to the sound of breathing
so loud I think it’s you beside me.
But no, love, it’s me. My breath, alone.



I praise the way you save
stale bread left on the shelf too long,
rinds of Parmesan tough to grate,
old greens not crisp enough
for salad, but fine for soup
re-boiled from what’s on hand.
I love the way you salvage
bruised tomato, sprouting onion,
imperfect squash, laying no morsel
to mold, nothing to waste,
filling each space with aroma
of soup, saying supper, manga!
come eat, come safely, come home.


Donna Hilbert’s latest book is the just released Threnody, from Moon Tide Press. Earlier books include Gravity: New & Selected Poems, Tebot Bach, 2018. She is a monthly contributing writer to the on-line journal Verse-Virtual. Work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Braided Way, Chiron Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Rattle, Zocalo Public Square, One Art, and numerous anthologies. Poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and on Lyric Life. She writes and leads private workshops in Southern California, where she makes her home, and during residencies at Write On Door County. Learn more at

3 thoughts on “Two Poems by Donna Hilbert

  1. beautiful, Donna, both of these. As you praise the Ribollita, I praise you for your economy of language, your ability to find the poem in a breath, in a meal

  2. Ditto. Such depth in such well chosen and arranged words, and TA DA! Magic.
    the best of poetry. thank you

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