Barbara F. Lefcowitz '56 has published nine poetry collections. Her latest collection, The Blue Train to America, appeared in January 2007. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have been published in over 500 journals and she has won writing fellowships and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation and several individual journals. A native New Yorker, Lefcowitz has lived most of her life in Bethesda, Maryland.


Barbara Lefcowitz '56


The Missing

Cellini’s Salt Cellar is missing
from Vienna’s Kunsthistorisch Museum
this morning’s headline claims

but they’ve missed the point:
the missing do not merely leave a void,
they fill a place in the trove that holds

the Parthenon frieze, missing from Athens,
along with marble arms and genitalia’
cuneiform tablets, scrolls wrapped and stored

in Alexandria’s library, burnt-out caves.
Cats and dogs too many kids POW and MIA
Amelia Earhart, who will be missing forever,

likewise Joe Crater, last seen at Billy Ha’s
Chop House, NYC, 1930, the Twin Towers,
huge Buddhist rock statues, Einstein’s brain,

Peru’s Incas, Vienna’s Jews. For comic relief
let’s not forget Belgium, long missing from the Congo,
France from Indo-China. Some scientists claim

missing matter makes up 95% of the universe
not counting gaps in the ozone, fish missing
from rivers, the link between tadpoles and beasts.



From THE BLUE TRAIN TO AMERICA (Dancing Moon Press, 2007)