Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Next Great Writer Shares Her Work

A poem from our Next Great Writers contest 2nd place winner, Trish Lindsey Jaggers:

We Are Listening

We are listening

to poetry, the recorded voice

of Mary Oliver, the silver

of mercury falling in a thin glass tube.

You lie near sleep

in my arms, our eyes

locked, your tiny fingers

around my index finger

as her voice rocks us.

She still seeks the soul,

the right to have one,

slips her pen

beneath every stone, gazes

into the birthing rooms

of flowers, listens

at the whispering

edges of doors

that open and close

the oceans, strokes

the trembling throats

of hummingbirds,

loses her breath

to some herons rising

white and sparkling

from a splitting water,


without a question

that the answer waits

like a seed waits

for the blossom to leave the apple.

As I gaze into the sun-crackled pool

of your eyes,

I agree.

The iron bars

of your lashes

close, locking me in.

Here in this time,

in the static dust

of this afternoon—you

in my arms, sleep

folding its wings

about you, taking you

and leaving me—

you still hear her. We hear

her. One of us knows

heaven. The poet

hushes the answers,

for true living is in the search;

she slows to look and touch

only to just-miss.

On purpose.

Someday soon, I will hear

the answers she’s already asked

of the soul. For now, I hold

the feather of this time

and smooth its barbs.

I feel them coming apart,

separating like the strands

of your baby hair.

The rocker slips

through the chink

cut by the evening sun,

carrying us, this large moth,

and we are small upon

its dusty white back—

you, my daughter’s

daughter, me, my hand

and fingers stretched toward

this swift passing shadow

that hungers for light

it can never eat.

I hope I go like this,

sliding into the cool silver

river of a poet’s voice,

and the end,

when it comes,

when it breathes

the last line

of the last stanza,

closes with a gasp.

Trish Lindsey Jaggers

More work to come!


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