Joan Dobbie

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MY FIRST MEMORY, SWITZERLAND
Circa 1947

I think I was not yet two
At home
In the tiny (neutral) country called
Switzerland
To which my parents escaped
& where I was born
& from which we later
Were forced to leave.
But then it was spring
& me so tiny, dark & so naked
sitting bare bottom in a washtub
Of thin blue water
Under the impossibly high
Unreachable sky
Where my mother had left me
For just one minute alone
When the huge brindled cow
With her great
Arched nostrils came by
Snorting hugely
& drank up all my water.

© 2014 Joan Dobbie

This Poem appeared in LOOKING FOR HOME, Women Writing about Exile, edited by Deborah Keenan and Roseann Lloyd, Milkweed Editions, 1990

Joan Dobbie, mother of two, grandmother of six, teaches hatha yoga and sometimes poetry in Eugene, Oregon. Joan has a 1988 MFA in Creative Writing from the U of O, recently published : BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND, Palestine/Israel: Poets Respond to the Struggle (Lost Horse Press, 2012), THE MANY FACES OF HATHA YOGA (Kendall/Hunt 2012-13); and WOODSTOCK BABY, A Novel in Poetry (The Unforgettables Press, 2013). Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and small press mags & zines. Several have won prizes, including “My Birth” which took 2nd place in the members only category of the Spring 2014 Oregon State Poetry Association Contest. Her latest literary project has to do with the Lane Writers Reading Series which she’s co-creating with fellow Eugene author, Howard Robertson.

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One Response to Joan Dobbie

  1. Marianne Szlyk says:

    It’s good to see your poem here, Joan! Hope all is well for you and yours. 🙂

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