Redwinged blackbirds in the cattail pond— today I kicked and flipped a wing in the sand and saw it was a sheared off flicker's. Yesterday's rain has left snow on Tesuque Peak, and the river will widen then dwindle. We step into a house and notice antlers mounted on the wall behind us; a ten-day-old child looks, nurses, and sleeps; his mother smiles but says she cries then cries as emptiness brims up and over. And as actions are rooted in feelings, I see how picking spinach in a field blossoms the picker, how a thoughtless act shears a wing. As we walk out to the car, the daylight is brighter than we knew. We do not believe flames shoot out of a cauldron of days but, looking at the horizon, see flames leap and crown from tree to tree.
Copyright © 2012 by Arthur Sze. Used with permission of the author.
Born in New York City in 1950, Arthur Sze is the author of nine books of poetry, including Compass Rose (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2012 to 2017.
Date Published: 2012-07-31
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/morning-antlers