Apr/May 2003 Poetry

Two Poems

by Teresa White


The Hatchling

I am new now I suppose
like a chick from the egg;
I am bruised by the quick cracking.

My nest is gone
and so the easy chair,
the love of the bong.

I have grown old in rooms foggy
with marijuana, conversations
dense with importance.

Now there's rebuilding with straw
and loose ends; a corner to live in
clean as a drum.

My friends have gone
or not come;
I open the refrigerator,

look for a hunger that will not
come again-a worm or a seed.


Family Portrait: Sudan

The sun never lets up;
water is meagered out in cups
and some stay with everything

gone but their lives.
Even pumpkin won't grow
in the talc soil
though seed is saved
in tin cans. Tall and dying

in resigned bones,
breath a gust
of fetid air,
skin already ash,

mothers and fathers weigh so little
their own children might have
buried them—
but they went before,

straight as cane
walking through the bald fields
when the sky was blood red and beautiful.


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