Gulf War and Child: A Curse

Annie Finch
He is sleeping, his fingers curled,
his belly pooled open, his legs gathered, still
in their bent blossom victory.

I couldn't speak of "war" (though we all do),
if I were still the woman who gave birth
to you soft-footed, with your empty hand
and calling heart, that border of new clues.

May the hard birth our two heartbeats unfurled
for two nights that lasted as long as this war
make all sands rage, until the mouth of war
drops its cup, this bleeding gift we poured.

More by Annie Finch

Wild Yeasts

for Marta

Rumbling a way up my dough's heavy throat to its head, 
seeping the trailed, airborne daughters down into the core, 
bubbles go rioting through my long-kneaded new bread; 
softly, now, breath of the wildest yeast starts to roar. 
My hands work the peaked foam, push insides out into the light, 
edge shining new sinews back under the generous arch 
that time's final sigh will conclude. (Dry time will stretch tight 
whistling stops of quick heat through my long-darkened starch.) 

How could I send quiet through this resonant, strange, vaulting roof 
murmuring, sounding with spores and the long-simple air, 
and the bright free road moving? I sing as I terrace a loaf 
out of my hands it has filled like a long-answered prayer. 
Now the worshipping savage cathedral our mouths make will lace 
death and its food, in the moment that refracts this place.

Landing Under Water, I See Roots

All the things we hide in water
hoping we won't see them go—
(forests growing under water
press against the ones we know)—

and they might have gone on growing
and they might now breathe above
everything I speak of sowing
(everything I try to love).

Love in the Morning

Morning’s a new bird
stirring against me
out of a quiet nest,
coming to flight—

quick-changing,
slow-nodding,
breath-filling body,

life-holding,
waiting,
clean as clear water,

warmth-given,
fire-driven
kindling companion,

mystery and mountain,
dark-rooted,
earth-anchored.