Poetry Friday – The Collected Works of Susan Ramsey
But first, some good news. I am pleased to announce that Susan Ramsey, my mother, recently won the 2007 Marjorie J. Wilson Award for Best Poem Contest. We are very proud. No word from her yet on what poem won, but when we find out I will attempt to post it here right quick. As I seem incapable of posting any of her poems in the season that they are set, here’s a cool November piece to take your mind off these muggy August evenings.
Letter to Matt on the Opening Day of Deer Season
November fifteenth, but the air’s warm as blood.
I wear red. Stick to paths through open fields,
imagining you and your brothers in these woods.
A shot reverberates. Silence. Then another,
companionable in this solitary day
as laughter through a neighbor’s distant window.
I know the warmth which lures me out to walk
spoils your sport. You’re wishing we had snow.
I pictured you tracking pairs of dainty prints,
but no, you said it’s easier to see
blood on white, it’s easier to follow
and finish the wounded. You hunt by holding still.
Men free of women, women free of men.
Your love’s alone this weekend –for a moment
you catch her city girl scent. She’s buying sheets —
three hundred thread count — sitting in coffee shops,
having her nails painted red. Her eyes
brown, luminous, are everywhere. Distraction.
In this late heat success is pressure. Cold,
you could take your time, but by hunter’s logic
leisurly processing now risks everything
your patience won, risks having it turn bad.
In weather like this the knives can’t hesitate.
In your haste milk washes blood from your hands.
Poetry Northwest, Spring 2002
Kelly at Big A little a has the Poetry Friday round-up.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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