Alumnae Poets

Stephanie Shafran '72

Stephanie Shafran

Stephanie Shafran lives in Western MA. Her poetry and prose have appeared in anthologies such as Straw Dog’s Compass Roads and Ophelia’s Mom, edited by Nina Shandler, and in journals such as Earth’s Daughters, Whirlwind Review, Slant and Silkworm. Her poem Pears received an honorable mention in Writers’ Digest’s 2001 non-rhyming poetry competition.

Last year, Stephanie’s poem After “Since Unfinished” by Richard Blanco won 3rd place in the Robert P. Collén Poetry Competition; recently she was a semi-finalist in River Styx’s Microfiction Contest.

Stephanie published Awakening at the outset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

Select Poems

Trees know these things –
how to survive by bending with the wind
stretching roots to quench thirst.

When branches break from winter’s wet snow,
trees know how to heal wounds
make do with what remains.

They even know how to die with grace, rotting back to soft earth,
offering themselves for what comes next.

If I could today
I would become that tree,
poised in front of this green metal chair
where I sit this early spring afternoon.

Empty of color,
its branches wait patiently for their blossoming
as months from now they will accept their dying back to grey.

Clinging to this craggy hillside
it stands tall, crooked, framed by endless sky above,
steadfast ground beneath.

If I could today
I would borrow this tree’s belonging in the world.


—originally published in Compass Roads