Happy birthday, Denise Duhamel

Denise Duhamel 2
June 13

Rhode Island is Famous for You

The blue forest, chilled and blue, like the lips of the dead,
show life when brought to the public eye in June,
the month of twins who divide their lives in two
or spend hours pursuing the ghost of a lover. Stacey
and I drive to the swimming pool and Blossom Dearie
sings “Rhode Island is Famous For You,” which always
makes Stacey think of Denise Duhamel, born this day
in Woonsocket, R. I.  Other children of June 13 include
Yeats, Pessoa, and Tony Towle, each of whom is a cousin
of yours, Denise, pursuing the arrow of greatness, but of none
of whom is it true that Rhode Island, smallest
and possibly most underrated state, is famous for you.
And the lips that were cold and blue when this poem
began have the warmth of June and the charm of a kiss.

— David Lehman


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