Naomi Replansky

The Oasis

I thought I held a fruit cupped in my hand.
Its sweetness burst
And loosed its juice. After long traveling,
After so long a thirst,
          I asked myself: Is this a drought-born dream?
          It was no dream.

I thought I slipped into a hidden room
Out of harsh light.
In cushioned dark, among rich furnishings,
There I restored my sight.
          Such luxury could never be for me!
          It was for me.

I thought I touched a mind that fitted mine
As bodies fit,
Angle to curve; and my mind throbbed to feel
The pulsing of that wit.
          This comes too late, I said. It cant be true!
          But it was true.

I thought the desert ended, and I felt
The fountains leap.
Then gratitude could answer gratitude
Till sleep entwined with sleep.
          Despair once cried: No passions left inside!
          It lied. It lied.


Naomi Replansky was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1918. Ring Song (Scribner, 1952) was a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry. The Dangerous World: New and Selected Poems, 1934-1994, was published by Another Chicago Press in 1994. Her Collected Poems (Godine/Black Sparrow, 2012) won the William Carlos Williams award of the Poetry Society of America and was a finalist for Poets’ Prize. She lives in New York; her partner is the writer Eva Kollisch. “The Oasis” was published in Replansky's Collected Poems.