Many of Saundra Maley’s poems have about them an aura of meditation. Delicate in tone and spare in structure, they are often luminous, evoking a sense of quiet wonder, for example, “A Small Green Leaf”: “Uninvited — / Falls / Into the palm of my hand // I ask its name / I hear // Grief.” Whether the subjects are historical characters — from Moses and King Tutankhamen to Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, and James Wright — or family memories, or ordinary events, the poems of Disappearing Act convey what the poet has discovered in her acts of contemplation.
A quick wind shaking green
Sunlight and leaves framed
And quartered beyond glass panes
Indescribable and green
Among seasons I cannot repeat
Made to stand for something —
A flash between fall and winter
A meaning suggested and gone
Already shadow eats its way
Up the trunk and swallows the branches
SAUNDRA ROSE MALEY has published poems in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Full Moon on K Street: Poems about Washington, D.C., Dryad, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Innisfree, and D.C. Perspectives. With Anne Wright, she co-edited A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright. She also published Solitary Apprenticeship: James Wright and German Poetry and is currently working with Anne on a book about Wright and translation, Where the Treasure Lies. She teaches Composition and Research at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland.