Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Morning Antlers

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.

Credit


Copyright © 2012 by Arthur Sze. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Arthur Sze

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