My Mother Was No White Dove

Reginald Shepherd

 
no dove at all, coo-rooing through the dusk
and foraging for small seeds
My mother was the clouded-over night
a moon swims through, the dark against which stars
switch themselves on, so many already dead
by now (stars switch themselves off
and are my mother, she was never
so celestial, so clearly seen)
My mother was the murderous flight of crows
stilled, black plumage gleaming
among black branches, taken
for nocturnal leaves, the difference
between two darks:
a cacophony of needs
in the bare tree silhouette,
a flight of feathers, scattering
black. She was the night
streetlights oppose (perch
for the crows, their purchase on sight),
obscure bruise across the sky
making up names for rain
My mother always falling
was never snow, no kind
of bird, pigeon or crow
 
From Red Clay Weather, published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Copyright © 2011 by Reginald Shepherd. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

A Muse by Reginald Shepherd
He winds through the party like wind, one of the just who
Drawing from Life by Reginald Shepherd
Look: I am building absence
Occurrences across the Chromatic Scale by Reginald Shepherd
The way air is at the same time
Roman Year by Reginald Shepherd
The corrugated iron gates are
Syntax by Reginald Shepherd
Occasionally a god speaks to you


Further Reading

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