Aug 022011


Here are new poems from Melinda Thomsen, a freshly minted MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, but already dazzling and prolific. Melinda Thomsen’s poetry and book reviews have been published or are forthcoming in journals such as Poetry East, Big City Lit, New York Quarterly, Home Planet News, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Alimentum, Heliotrope, and The Same.  Anthologies include Blues for Bill: A Tribute to William Matthews and Spring from Gatehouse Press, Great Britain. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook Naming Rights in June 2008. These poems are from her next collection, Field Rations, to be published in October 2011.



From Field Rations

Poems by Melinda Thomsen



Suppertime, December 28, 1944


Every night his mind ticked on
at 1:00 AM while she was fixing supper.
Was it like last time? Biscuits, fried chicken

and bean salad they saved from noon.
She’s sculling water through some peas.
He felt cool air running around his hands

and his stomach pressed against the sink.
Movements of her fingers echoed in his.
His tongue moved around on its own

but what was it saying? His hand drifted
up her leg and across her back, over
and over like the touch of butterflies

that seemed to land on her shoulders.
He was kissing her when the pulsing caress
of her lips answered his, was she there?

Was she stopping to close her eyes?


Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, April 13, 1945


The photo is a two
by three inch glossy

that I must get close to,
to see: forty bodies

piled in a shed with lye
over them like crumbs

of cheese on a salad.

Some inmates face
faces, others, soles

of feet. Shaved heads,
ears, noses, rills of fingers

and the little round pads
of toes have settled, framed,

in their final rest, like shoes,
hundreds of well-worn shoes.

—by Melinda Thomsen

  No Responses to “Field Rations: Poems — Melinda Thomsen”

  1. I remember Melinda’s reading in Vermont, and I’m very happy to see her work on NC. Thanks for posting the poems … there’s nothing else quite like her work.

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