At first we thought it was a bird erupting
from the chimney, scattering ash and soot
over our new-used sofa, down the hall.
Two black wing-beats marked the door’s molding
before it flew into the room full with unused furniture,
boxes waiting for unpacking. My mother
chased it with a broom, swinging the frayed straw end
and murmuring, you poor dear, you poor thing.
I was standing in the doorframe, my head barely to the knob
when the force of her swing grazed my shoulder. She abandoned her broom
and told me to sit very still on the stairs, watch the threshold
while she found a rag – the better, she said, to catch and release
our winged intruder. When she went into the room she closed the door.
Emerging minutes later, triumphant, she clasped the keening black
thing in a worn yellow towel. I undid the latch on the screen door.
Flinging the bat to the sky, she explained
how in that room she’d turned
the lights off, the blinds down; how her hands spread
under the cloth; how she waited
among the stacked shadows of cardboard marked,
in my father’s hand, Kitchenware and Things Rita says
I can’t throw away, until the creature calmed
its circling the ceiling, settled on a dresser.
Before each step she took to close the space between them
she paused, waited, at last reaching out and covering its wings.
Good news from the poetry world! This poem of mine has been chosen as a finalist in Hollins’ Annual Literary Festival! Yay! I’ve also got a poem (not sure which) in the final round of NSCU’s 2014 Poetry Contest, which is very very exciting as I will be attending their MFA program in the fall. But I’ll post that one when I know.
ALSO, I’m off to London tonight!