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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February

February

Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It's his
way of telling whether or not I'm dead. Read more about February

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January

January

For January I give you vests of skins,
And mighty fires in hall, and torches lit;
Chambers and happy beds with all things fit;
Smooth silken sheets, rough furry counterpanes;
And sweetmeats baked; and one that deftly spins
Warm arras; and Douay cloth, and store of it;
And on this merry manner still to twit
The wind, when most his mastery the wind wins.
Or issuing forth at seasons in the day,
Ye'll fling soft handfuls of the fair white snow

Read more about January>
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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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