Pat Daneman


ATMA
ATMA

Adam and Eve

Standing naked in the guestroom,
my new husband accuses me

of calling God a man and a know-it-all.
A man like any other man, I say.

It is late. Long past one of the last
midnights of October.

Furtive as mice, we have been down
to my mother’s kitchen, crammed our mouths

with leftover meat and cake,
washed plates and set them back on shelves

to leave no evidence of hunger.
Upstairs, we try questions on like costumes

until we are naked, almost a pair. 
Why, he asks me,

did God not question the serpent? Because
God thought he knew everything, I answer.

ATMA

How It Rained in Barcelona

Mornings so hot we made no plans, spent hours
reading in the square. Sipped water, had no thoughts

of making lunch or love until that first gust brought a graying
to the sky, turned each leaf a deeper green. A moment

of expectation before a curtain dropped. Rain bright
on shingles, loud down drain pipes, soft, then gone,

as children came from everywhere to splash
along the cobblestones, flap pigeon hands and shriek—

that same joy we wanted to be feeling—as wind swung
every branch until it seemed like rain was falling still.

ATMA

Last Conversation, Honolulu

From the hotel room made of windows,
I watch my husband and son wander out of sight.
I pull the curtains wide, let in everything—

shouts of children swimming in the lagoon,
cigar smoke from the next balcony, fat slap of waves
on tired sand. Somewhere they walk

through a conversation with no room in it for me.
I slide open a door, and the red-capped sparrows
that nest in the balconies step with caution over the threshold.

Six of them, like brothers. Our breakfast crumbs are on the carpet.
I have no superstitions about birds indoors. The boundary
between in and out is gone for me here. 

Life into death will be like that for my husband. My son and I
are more like the sparrows—frightening
ourselves with our yearning to see what’s inside.

ATMA

Night Knitting

Always good to have a row cast on—the night will come
when I’ll need the reassurance of brown or purple wool,
needles’ industry between sleeplessness and the immensity

of the world asleep. Even if snow is knitting its own caps and capes,
even if wind is undoing every knot,
I will have a pool of lamplight,

the back of a soft chair like an arm around my shoulders. 
As I sit wishing for someone to talk to,
I will have the small stitches to count,

the clack-of-bone conversation, the thing—
what is it?—
falling from my hands.

Pat Daneman author photoPat Daneman is a freelance writer, editor, and pet sitter in Lenexa, Kansas.  Most recently, her poems have appeared in The Moon City Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, Stone Canoe, and The Comstock Review.  Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press.  She is senior poetry editor of Kansas City Voices magazine.  She is currently seeking a publisher for her first full-length poetry collection, After All, which will include the poems featured in Escape Into Life.

Pat Daneman at Poets & Writers

Pat Daneman, Kansas poems

Pat Daneman at Finishing Line Press

Pat Daneman at Kansas City Voices 

Pat Daneman at Wild Goose Poetry Review

Pat Daneman at Poemeleon