Monday, November 8, 2010

November's Child

the light around the house dims
sewn in, or sewn out. a sealed rabbit hole.
we meet the evening-tide with bright eyes.

November brings it's dusky murmurs,
some stories of gypsies and stolen children
of pots full of bone and skin.

i watch carefully the flight path of birds
across the lucid flash of sunset,
to see what they are afraid of, how they clutch black claw.

baby stills in the oblong stretch of my stomach.
rabbit in the hole, unborn in Winter's hibernation;
borne into wild compassion and thoughtless instincts-

she will always be hungry
she will always find beauty a flame on the end of the branch;
be tempted to flee with wild things, burrow her babies far away.

i am too, November infant- first wail to a darkening sky
first cries to the silent forest and flash floods of Mississippi:
responsible to nothing but the heartbeat of my mother

her breast and her hold and my wandering heart.
the eagle stretches his dark wing over the windows of home.
even at this distance, i can see how he eyes my unborn.

everyone is hungry.
everything needs, though its wilding may not speak the word.
i close the sliding glass door on the darkening world

and touch my husband's warm neck with frozen fingertips.
the light blazes from the seams of our home,
gaping at the dirt and roots

we feed our children and break bodies against one another.
this November is collecting stormfronts: a birthing is coming:
with the light spilling yellow at the corners of our mouths.
tearful dishwasher said...


this is strong, lovely, heartbreaking work.

just so.



Mommy Emily said...

this made me gasp.

it's rare i read such poetry...

i hope you might consider linking it to imperfect prose on thursday, maggie. such beauty, in this birthing. xo

SJ said...

Can't wait for that November's child arrival! I hope you get her present before she comes

Drax said...

It's awesome. I think that last line is, um... the image is just too much. Everything else is beautiful. Just not that last line.

Ms. Moon said...

You've left me speechless.

Maggie May said...

thank you for reading thank you!

Drax i'll think on it.

justmakingourway said...

Perfect. So, so very Maggie Mae.

Joyfully anticipating the darling Ever.

Annie said...

Hi Maggie,

The final line works for me. As I read your poem, and your final line, and then read a second time before reading any comments, mentally I compared your imagery of the light spilling from the house, with the light spilling from your mouths. No matter how dark it is outside, and the eagle hovering, there is light within, is how I interpret it, and you successfully convey this with subtlety and understatement.

I love this simple line: “everyone is hungry. everything needs, though its wilding may not speak the word.”

I love this poem for its quiet, reflective tone, though the imagery and emotion is varied and tumultuous. I love your use of specific detail:
“i am too, November infant- first wail to a darkening sky
first cries to the silent forest and flash floods of Mississippi…”

The poem has a consistency of voice and tone, which is part of why the final line works for me. Could you tighten the imagery throughout the poem? Perhaps, but then you might lose something essential. Your poem reads wonderfully aloud. Your third stanza is beautifully constructed, its sound and rhythm an interplay with every other. As I’m writing this, I’ve read through several more times. For me, the final line bears the weight of the poem, brings the rhythm to a halt, and carries the poem to a satisfying conclusion, integral, but open to the reader’s own interpretation.

It’s good to get more than one opinion, so, if Drax’s statement prompts you to re-visit the poem, changing the final line may or may not require other subtle changes in rhythm, sound or voice throughout the poem. With your writing, you have an innate sense of balance, so whatever you do will be fine. It’s a beautiful, expressive poem, just perfect, I’m sure, for what you are feeling.

* said...

"i am too, November infant- first wail to a darkening sky"

Maggie, you have the voice of a poet. (Me = swoon)

Therese said...

Thanks for the chills.

Libertine said...

It's absolutely fantastic. Wouldn't change a thing there. Thank you

jennifer said...

nice, Maggie!

Anonymous said...

I like the bit about the frozen fingers on your husband's warm neck - that is Winter and love and all what being paired up with another soul is all about. Thanks for sharing this poem!!

Melissa Green said...

Lovely post, very moving work.

Sondra said...

Lovely..feels directly from your heart.

Maggie May said...

thank you all so much for reading, for responding.

AmandaJo said...

Every time I stop by your blog, I wonder if I'm going to see Ever peeking back at me.

Is she still breech? My son was transverse - side to side - and I went to the chiropractor for the first time in my life at the advise of my doctor. She -the chiropractor- was licensed in baby move-ology... (Totally super technical term, there.)... And really did work wonders. She helped get my hips back into place and *plunk!* he just dropped right into the ol' pocket. Without seeing her, I would've been in line for a C-section.

Anonymous said...

this is one of your best!!!!
thank you for feeding me, i was so hungry!


Anonymous said...

beautiful and haunting.

Caroline said...

beautiful. I have chills.

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