The Works of Michael Steffen

Michael Steffen is a Y2K graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Vermont College. His first book, No Good at Sea, was published by Legible Press in 2002. His second, Heart Murmur, has just been released by Bordighera Press. Michael's poems and critical prose have appeared in a wide variety of journals including Poetry, Poet Lore, Two Review and Alehouse, to name a few.  He currently lives in Roseto, PA.


All Poems © Michael Steffen


First Things First


No wonder our parents were so intent
on teaching us what to do when
the phones ringing, someone’s at the door,
our hand is on a hot stove,
and we need to go to the bathroom,
to be absolutely certain, as adults,
in that baffling shuffle of choices,
where to begin, and why.


You’d think it would be obvious
in the echelon of things to do,
but someone at some point
dragged a cart out of a barn
and placed his horse behind it
the earliest failure of common sense—
man and beast standing in the rain,
puzzling over their lack of movement.