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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact [email protected].

[the girls speak to each other via the common tongue]: Feather or a Rock

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, January 16, 2018.
About this Poem 
“This poem is from a section of my manuscript in-progress, The Pink Tablet, that is concerned with the mutability of borders and boundaries real and imagined, imposed and inherent. Confronted with various modes of aggression—hunted, scapegoated, trapped and loathed—the girls lay claim with a shape-shifting ferocity, but the bodies they become are no safer vessels. The complexity this poem is exploring is the fact of being a being, how in so many small ways they (we) open to and guard against the world in all its shimmering terror and beauty. Here, they speak to each other in a private language that is half call-and-response, half finishing each other’s thoughts.”
Ellen Welcker

[the girls speak to each other via the common tongue]: Feather or a Rock

          which do you love more
a feather or a rock

                                                     to be good is to be ‘natural’
                                                              I mean to appear

              you are not good
you are holding up though

                                                              you are holding up
                                                     you are getting a drink of water

                    you are eating
          you are concealing your identities

                                                     this is like a riotous wilderness
                                                              but more like a persistent dread

                              your ferocity, almost mycological

                                           mythological

                    I said mycological

                                                     oh god

	                    oh my god
                                         
                                                     your laughter has undertones
                                                                      of oak and berries
and martial law
            conceived, as it were, in a garden

Copyright © 2018 by Ellen Welcker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 16, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Ellen Welcker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 16, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

previous poems

date titlesort ascending author
February 14, 2016 Love in a Life Robert Browning
February 06, 2011 Love Samuel Taylor Coleridge
January 23, 2016 Love James Russell Lowell
October 11, 2014 Love William Carlos Williams
January 28, 2017 Love Rupert Brooke
January 04, 2012 Love Katy Lederer
August 14, 2016 Lost Illusions Georgia Douglas Johnson
March 28, 2013 Lost and Found Ron Padgett
April 09, 2010 Lost Stephen Dobyns
October 08, 2016 Lost Carl Sandburg

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