I watch the strobe lights blink in silence
above impervious clouds, eleven time zones,
and mountains like crumpled paper in the distance.
I wonder about the lives of passing towns.
And as we approach home, the land I love,
its deep-veined rivers and emerald plains,
I think of things we try but can't let go of,
of time and change and what remains.
I think of home, what separation has meant.
Indifferent, the plane begins its final descent,
the earth turning below us, like the turning
of generations. I watch the dawn's orange hue
rising in the east, the grass still soaked in dew.
The mist hangs low. Soon, it will be morning.
© 2011 Nausheen
Nausheen Eusuf was born and raised in
Dhaka, Bangladesh. Currently a doctoral student at Boston
University, she holds a BA from Wellesley College, and master's
degrees in Creative Writing and English from Johns Hopkins
and the University of Georgia. Her poems have appeared in
Acumen, Orbis, Mezzo Cammin, The
Raintown Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, and
other journals. What Remains is her first collection.
"One of the rising stars of New Formalism,
Nausheen Eusuf brings a quiet voice and unflinching approach
to the narrative of her mother's death. 'Going Home' and 'Sestina'
(an obvious homage to Bishop's 'Sestina') are standouts. Eusuf
proves that it is possible, though difficult, to go home again:
'how much easier was love / before you slipped away...'"
—Kim Bridgford, Editor, Mezzo Cammin,
and Director, West Chester University Poetry Conference
"Nausheen Eusuf's chapbook What
Remains is the first book of a talented young poet. It
is highly imaginative and heartfelt poetry that will linger
in the memory. It bodes well for work to come ."
—John T. Irwin, Decker Professor in
the Humanities, Johns Hopkins University