MN poetry: Anne Piper’s “Not like fire”


A detail from Anne Piper's sidewalk poem, courtesy of Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk.

Last week I wrote about the College of Visual Arts latest exhibition, featuring an installation by Charles Matson Lume. What I didn't mention was that he also did a series of pieces in the CVA's exterior display windows, inspired by the sidewalk poem imprinted in the cement on the northwest corner of Selby and Western. Here's the poem, by local poet Anne Piper:

Not like fire

Nothing flaming

or even

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.




caught up

with danger.

Nothing racing to take


or possessions or

no prisoners.

No, our love

was never

like that.

Anne Piper lives on the West Side. Her poems have been published in a variety of literary journals. She has an MFA in poetry from Hamline University, where she received the Outstanding Poetry Thesis Award in 2008. A version of "Not like fire" appeared in Poetry East.