Sunday, February 04, 2007


A couple of days late but…

My Contribution to the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Reading… Nana in this poem is my Aunt Betty. Enjoy.

Survival of Small Things

In the bug-heavy heat
of summer my family moves
to Nana's house:
by the lake, secure
in the concave of its own valley,
ringed with willow

Sun and shadow move
over each other here
like playmates,
smooth leaves
coupling in the wind.

Under the blue overhang of branch
on water, the quiet collects
tiny black whales.
My hands push mason jars
through water
to gather a tadpole mass.

Across from me my brother,
belly down on the diving board.
The smell of wet bread
he uses to catch minnows
for Bingo, Nana's grey cat.
The crack of snapping spines
over hot concrete.

Inside the peeling orange
of the house at Jade Bay,
we keep a rooster.
Past the drapings of Nana's wool.
violet, indigo , rose.
Past the ammonia-soaked air
of home made dyes,
next to the furnace.

Injured by mink, the rooster
cowers in a cardboard box.
Our mother shows us how to feed.
Never by hand.

At night the crickets send the air
cooling with their song,
Tucked into the cotton
of Nana's bed I dream
the survival of small things;
jarred whales, one legged rooster,
quick flashes of light
escaping the net.

--Samara Brock, 1999


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