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and other verses from late in life
by Sally Zakariya

Short and spare, Zakariya’s poems often carry a sting at the end. Drawing her subjects from the minutiae of daily life and the particularities of nature, she uncovers in ordinary experience hidden meaning that is at once universal and highly personal. A visit to the ophthalmologist prompts a meditation on the limits of vision (“Eye Doctor”). The felling of a neighbor’s tree (“Stump”), the imprint of autumn leaves on the pavement (“Leaving”), the shadows of pines on a frozen lake (“Snow”)— these and other deceptively simple poems become reflections on the cycle of life. But there is nothing maudlin here: Zakariya’s is a mature voice that, while tinged with melancholy, is leavened with a wry humor.


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