Poetry

The Mercy


The Mercy

The ship that took my mother to Ellis Island
Eighty-three years ago was named "The Mercy."
She remembers trying to eat a banana
without first peeling it and seeing her first orange
in the hands of a young Scot, a seaman
who gave her a bite and wiped her mouth for her
with a red bandana and taught her the word,
"orange," saying it patiently over and over. Read more about The Mercy

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August

August

When my eyes are weeds,
And my lips are petals, spinning
Down the wind that has beginning
Where the crumpled beeches start
In a fringe of salty reeds;
When my arms are elder-bushes,
And the rangy lilac pushes
Upward, upward through my heart; Read more about August

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I Am From

Kirsten Vanderscheuren was one of the admins of Casual Writers' Critique here in Madison. We met on Saturday afternoons. I knew her for less than two years, and only for a few Saturday afternoons. Being a devotee of Live from the Met in HD, I had to skip the last two of these, and looked forward to the April meeting when I was planning to read the last of the short story I had been working on here. Kirsten will never get to read it, and I will not be able to follow the adventures of her talking animals and their rebellion. A bout of pneumonia with lethal side effects took her from us. Read more about I Am From

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Every Morning

I do not read the papers in the morning, but I do check the NYT and WaPo headline sites. I was looking for a poem for March and, looking out on the still-frozen barricades of snow, and feeling this March wind on my face like a fusillade of shattered crystal, I chose this poem of death read with "cold, sharp eyes." Read more about Every Morning

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The Crazy Woman

I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I'll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.

I'll wait until November
That is the time for me.
I'll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.

And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
"That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May."

Gwendolyn Brooks Read more about The Crazy Woman

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