Well into the Third Act
“Dancing through My Seventies,” the first poem in Well into the Third Act, sets the stage for the poetry of Donna Wahlert. She sifts through memories of grandparents and parents and pans gold nuggets recognized only through the distance of age and experience. She speaks movingly of her honeymoon and fifty years of marriage. From a cruise with her daughters to a dude ranch with her grandchildren, she shares the joys of time spent with family.
Her poetry evokes the emotions of everyday life—a grandfather who gradually forgets the little things that crafted his special relationship with a favored granddaughter, or the loss of a loved one and a prayer for a memorial gathering. She marvels at the intricacies of nature from the Grand Canyon to the Mississippi River; through her verse we experience birds feeding each other and deer foraging in the woods for winter food. Wahlert’s poetry lingers and reminds us that there is beauty in life and love.
“In Donna Wahlert’s poetry, the quiet intimacies of daily life nudge up against our shared experiences, offering us not only a lens through which to glimpse the writer’s world, but a mirror reflecting a bit of our own.”
—Kenneth Salzmann, coeditor of Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents
“Every line paints a picture that lingers and flows into the next until we see the overall mural Donna has carefully brush stroked with words.”
—Sharmagne Leland-St. John, poet and five-time Pushcart Prize nominee; editor in chief of Quill and Parchment