This Is Us

a found poem: Virginia Woolf’s The Waves



Now we tread on ferns that smell red

with age. Now we walk

among falling apples.


We wake the roses, the giant toad

the long sleeping earth.


There are the purple tree-tops.

There is the garden ringed with oak.


Now we have fallen

through the primeval undergrowth

and rot is strong in the air.


Now we are no longer unhappy.

We have never been

very human.

Nazifa Islam grew up in Novi, Michigan. Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Gulf Coast, The Account, and Beloit Poetry Journal among other publications, and her poetry collection Searching for a Pulse (2013) was released by Whitepoint Press. She earned her MFA at Oregon State University. You can find her @nafoopal.