Two Poems by Donna Hilbert

I Do 100 Flying Cloud Hands While the Coffee Drips

In a copper-bottomed pot, my mother perked coffee,
adding a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor.
I was a kid and I thought it was good
with lots of milk and a little sugar.

Later, she adopted Coffee Mate: You can’t tell the difference!
Then Cool Whip: Just as good as Whipped Cream!
Some new margarine: As yummy as butter, maybe better!

When I eschewed meat, she declared I couldn’t possibly taste
the chicken broth base in the casserole, or the bacon fat
seasoning green beans. Oh, how she wished me to swallow
what gagged me, then open my mouth and drip praise.


Anthurium in August

Anthuriums abloom
in a bayside yard,

take me back to Christmas
in the old house,

that year we abandoned
tree and tinsel

to cheer ourselves instead

with bouquets
of crimson bracts:

open mouths of joy.


Donna Hilbert’s latest book is 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

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