May 2008

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor


Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, Associate Professor in Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia, has published in APR, Quarterly West, Puerto del Sol, Barrow Street, and won prizes from the Leeway and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundations. She is co-editor of the book, Arts-Based Research in Education: Foundations for Practice (Routledge).

I Dreamt Mung Bean    

My student, Xuelai, describes this bean,
says it eases a baby's digestion. She sent pictures
of cow's bone, a delicacy served like a centerpiece,
brown cylinder standing on the plate
as if it had walked there on its own.
Pigs' feet, little paw cut into sixths, I learn
is a dish served to women to reduce
the wrinkle. In America, fat
reduces the wrinkle, so we eat bacon,
I tell her, tower over her in the cafeteria line.
If you eat brown rice and vegetables,
staring at fish eyeballs, things change.
My son is sleeping under the eyes of a stuffed
frog. It pleases me he sleeps. I check for the usual:
suffocation, rash, nose bleed, disappearance.
We're not often far apart from one another,
13th month "in the womb" and I wonder if I'll say
13th year, when his hair will exist in color,
uncombed, up to my breast, standing on his own.
My big strong cow's bone, I'll shout to him
when he's far outfield playing
our American sport, strong and lean
as our boys can be.



Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor: Poetry
Copyright ©2008 The Cortland Review Issue 39The Cortland Review