“The Way it Really Was” by Ann Goldsmith

Final Girl street paint

From the beginning he got
all the perks, the glitz:
The Big Originator
            The Fomenting Father
                        Chairman of the Universe.
Creations erupted from his eyebrows,
his toenails. He sneezed
and the tides surged.

Where absence had been
he touched the Nothing into color,
motion, music. Clouds, red moons, geysers.
Time’s metronomic wink.

But no shadows. No reflections.
Last Moments, not yet.
Things colliding before they cooled,
mountain into mountain,
plain into pleated cliff. When,

in swirls of protoplasm, sea grass,
he rolled out animals and humans,
it wasn’t long before teeth
began to gnaw on unrestrained
succulence. Feasting everywhere
but no time to digest.

For the first few eons he was too
giddy to even glance
in my direction.
It took wearying periods of steady gazing
to temper the furious pace
of his fiery consummations.

Where would being be,
I tried to show, without a place
for roots and refinements? For rest?
No one mentions me, but
I was the one who mirrored it all back
until he began to see.



Ann Goldsmith‘s second book of poems, THE SPACES BETWEEN US, appeared in April 2010. She won the Quarterly Review of Literature’s Poetry Prize for her first book, NO ONE IS THE SAME AGAIN. Goldsmith holds a doctorate from the University of Buffalo, where she taught English for ten years. She has also served on the faculties of D’Youville and St. Trocaire Colleges, and worked as Western New York Coordinator for ALPS, a statewide poetry-in-the-schools organization. She has served as poet-in-residence at the Chautauqua Institution, and taught writing at Buffalo’s Trinity Center, which granted her an Excellence in Teaching Award. Her recently completed book of poems, WAITING AT THE TURN, is looking for a publisher.