Anne Bauer
Fine Absence

Fine Absence

Pavement Saw Press Chapbook Series
Winner of the 2010-11 Chapbook Award
ISBN 978-1-886350-17-5
28 pages, saddle stapled, 2011

These poems first appeared in Front Range Review, Stone's Throw and Whitefish Review.

Anne Bauer lives in Montana with her husband, their two kids and a dog named Daisy. She teaches writing at the college level, writes grants, and researches campaign contributions for a non-profit when not following her interest in ethno-botany. Her poems, short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Stone's Throw, Guideposts, Front Range Review, flashquake, Literary Mama, Pindeldyboz, Kaleidowhirl, Staccato, Whitefish Review, and others.

Free Sample Poem


My dad stopped bathing three years before
we found him
gaping at eternity on the basement floor.

Every morning alcohol leached
from his cells,
too long - five hours - deprived of a drink.

Every day a new layer of reek and need
sloughed through the house
like a cigarette in a closed room
until Dad pervaded carpet, walls, drapes, and
coated the TV screen.
At the end of a visit your hands smelled
of cheese neglected behind the steam radiator.

The day they put the sheet on him
we girls scrubbed that house
from cracked plaster ceiling
to carved wooden baseboards.
We laundered and steamed and bleached,
pitched with regret
the vinyl chair with cushions dented and blackened
in the shape of his body, but
parts of Dad twined with the house years ago.