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Judith Harway


Poetry Archive
  Judith Harway
Judith Harway's poetry and non-fiction have been widely published in the United States and Canada. She has been a recipient of a Wisconsin Arts Board Literary Fellowship and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship among others. Currently on the Faculty of Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Harway has also taught writing at the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee, Alverno College and the University of Winnipeg. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband, bassist Dan Armstrong and their two children.



Middle Ages

Judith Harway
Eventually, we have to face the truth:
time passes, and flesh passes,
and the things we passed for
fall away like rags.
Someone brags or someone sings
and suddenly the artist is a hack,
the soul a sham, the word
(which, in the end, is all we have)
reveals its lie. We learn
the avalanche that buries us
is ours, the cells of sloughed off skins,
the dust we're destined for
because (or so we're told)
it's our beginning. Eventually,
our words begin to crumble
underneath the weight
of worlds we build, believing
in no other. I am writing this
because I love you still,
because the girl you loved lies
like a baby fallen in the well,
and when they bring her up—
or if, perhaps—we have to face
the truth of what survives.



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