Library of Congress

Site Title Here

The Library of Congress > Poetry & Literature> Poet Laureate > Past Poet Laureate Projects > Poetry 180 > Full List of Poems > Poem 134
{ site_name: 'Poetry', subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress/poetry.php' }

Back to Full List of 180 Poems

One Day A Woman

One day a woman picking peaches in Georgia
lost her hold on the earth and began to rise.
She grabbed limbs but leaves stripped off in her hands.
Some children saw her before she disappeared
into the white cloud, her limbs thrashing.
The children were disbelieved. The disappearance
was filed away with those of other women
who fell into bad hands and were soon forgotten.
Six months later a half-naked man in Kansas
working on the roof of the Methodist Church
was seen by half a dozen well-known
and highly respected citizens to move
directly upward, his tarbrush waving, 
until he shrank away to a point and vanished.
Nobody who knew about the first event
knew of the second, so no connection was made.
The tarbrush fell to earth somewhere in Missouri
unnoticed among a herd of Guernsey cows.

—Miller Williams

from Imperfect Love, 1986
Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA

Copyright 1986 by Miller Williams.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press from Imperfect Love. Copyright 1986 by Miller Williams. For further permissions information, contact Louisiana State University Press, P.O. Box 25053, Baton Rouge, LA 70894-5053.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Miller Williams (1930-2004) was born in Hoxie, Arkansas in 1930, the son of a Methodist clergyman and civil rights activist. Williams is the author of 14 poetry collections, including Time and the Tilting Earth: Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2008).

Learn more about Miller Williams at The Poetry Foundation.