7:32 AM — Tara Skurtu

I drive below the speed limit
past businesses not yet open,

a house with only one lit room,
pastures of Black Angus grazing.

I roll down the window, rest
my elbow, lean my face

against my palm. Realize
I haven’t eaten. Right now

Gramma would’ve been fixing
breakfast. Weekends at her house

I’d wake while she poached eggs,
halved a grapefruit, filled

my bowl with stale corn flakes
and raisin bran, overripe star fruit—

the shuffle of her plastic-
bottomed slippers on the tile,

gurgle and drip of the coffee
maker, the kitchen radio playing

soft and easy hits from the past.


Tara Skurtu teaches incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program. She is the recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and two Academy of American Poets prizes. Tara’s poems have been translated into Romanian and Hungarian, and her recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Kenyon ReviewPoetry Review, Poetry Wales, Plume, Memorious, The Common, and Tahoma Literary Review.