2011 Delaware Senior Poet Laureate
Priscilla Nemeth

P. M. Nemeth, 60, is a newcomer to the ever-expanding circle of state Senior Poet Laureate award winners. She lives in Long Neck, Delaware, but has a second home in Adelphi, Maryland. Priscilla, as friends know her, is Affiliate Communications Coordinator for the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University, where her favorite photo was taken when she was 22 yars old. She has won numerous awards from the International Labor Communications Association. Her sun sign is Aquarius.


THE THOUGHT OF SAYING SOMETHING
NEW OR DEAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

Itís no longer as easy as
think it, then say it.
There are impediments,
the natural hurdles of a long
and unmanaged marriage.
I have to find the desire to speak,
to aim the sentences and
be ready for the ricochet.
I have to open my mouth,
get my jaw hinges working.
But past conversations
have had a stiffening effect.
Then there are the years themselves:
the pickets in the fence between us,
made up of knowing too much. There are
the betrayed secrets that have rusted the gate.
Now it is, if I say this,
youíll say that or worse,
you will say silence or air or sleep.

This is acceptable, the work and sleep and work.
The dressing and leaving without kissing goodbye.
Now we are the silent couple
staring out the window
as we drive along these old roads.
Step on the gas
and see who shouts first.
I think it will be me.


Priscilla Nemeth