Gall/ poem by Margo Taft Stever


Every night, the dreams
forgotten taunts
the dreamer through
the day, remember me,
remember me.
The crabapple found
on the sidewalk has
no worms—only
black spots, eggs
of an unknown insect.

The fish mouths,
scales, nibble
of the night’s edge,
nettle the underwater.
Small bandits,
inaudible, live
in walls. They
remember voices
but never names.
Come back,
come back.

Just when a boat seems
to sink with all hope
lost, a wash
of sunlight, a raindrop
on an eyelash,
an awakening.

Something begins
to flow, water
from the faucet,
dripping leaves
browned in autumn,
gall’s rise, round,
circular, full of
next year.


In 2019, CavanKerry Press published Margo Taft Stever’s second full-length book, Cracked Piano, and Kattywompus Press published her chapbook, Ghost Moose. Her other poetry collections are The Lunatic Ball(2015); The Hudson Line (2012); Frozen Spring (2002); and Reading the Night Sky (1996). She is the founder of the Hudson Valley Writers Center and the founding editor of Slapering Hol Press (

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