Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Baker
David Baker
David Baker was born in Bangor, Maine, on December 27, 1954. He...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Related Poems
Before the Feast of Shushan
by Anne Spencer
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

The Feast

 
by David Baker

The moon tonight is
the cup of a
     scar. I hate the moon.
     I hate—more—that scar. My love waited

one day, then half
the next. One 
     cyst drained of fluid that looked,
     she said, like icing for

a cake. Red-
laced, she said, gold,
      tan, thick, rich. Kind of
      beautiful.

One cyst 
was not a cyst. One
      —small one, hard, its edges jagged— 
     like a snow ball. 

This one scared 
the house on-
     cologist into 
     lab work: stat.

Once the snow melts the birds 
will be back.
     Once
     many men were masked

in front of their
families. Were gunned down
     to shallow graves, together, there.
     Basra. Kaechon. East 

St. Louis, Illinois. Nowhere
we donít know about  
     and nothing yet is done.  
     This is what we watch while

we wait.
Twelve little cysts 
     of snow in the red-
      bud. I watched each one, having 

counted, once more, and then one
more time, as
     the news reports reported
     and the cold early 

northern wind shook
out there the bare, still-budded small
     bush. Balls of crust shuddered
     in the bush.

Birds will be
back as 
     though nothing has happened. 
     I am here to report that
		
nothing happened. Except
the oncologist said, then, 
     benign.
     But now I hate 

the moon. Hate the scar,
though it shines 
     on her breast
     like the moon at my lips.





Audio Clip
March 2, 2007
AWP Conference, Atlanta, GA
From the Academy Audio Archive



"The Feast" first appeared in The Boston Review. Copyright © 2009 by David Baker. From Never-Ending Birds by David Baker (W. W. Norton, 2009). Appears with permission of the author.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.