When not traveling, I live and write with my husband in our forest home near Athens, Georgia. Poetry has enriched my life for as long as I can remember--hearing it, reading it, studying it, teaching it, and writing it. My poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, The Atlanta Review, Colere Journal, and many other journals and magazines. My fourth and most recent collection of poetry, The Hero of the Revolution Serves Us Tea (Negative Capability Press, 2014), is based on my Peace Corps service in Romania (2010-2011).
Above the Singapore Rainforest
That it came suddenly was the thing.
Like a stroke or a blink, like desire,
the storm was there, and so
the storks were caught—white flotilla
on a green sea, riding the waves as one,
tossed on currents of sky.
From our high window we watched them—
faltering; swallowed in troughs of trees; emerging
above crests like tattered sails on hollow hulls
until they disappeared finally with dusk
in gray veils like those—half a world
away—that claimed with stroke
my mother's mind,
her thoughts beating in confusion,
trying to fly home.
(First published in Bloodline, Evening Street Press, 2009)
When they knew the ladies of the church
were sending waves of food,
my mother’s neighbors fished for other needs
as I hung there, caught like a trout
on her corded phone,
until they asked, “What about paper goods?”
and I leapt at the easy bait, more than once.
I didn’t mind that on the funeral day a growing
flock of perpetual-plastic bags perched everywhere
—on the fridge, the counters, the washer—some
light as angel down, all with contents pure.
That night I dreamed of my mother—
she who found humor in the absurd,
delight in irony,
she who had to be hushed at wakes—
ascending in laughter on a bright path,
thousands of Styrofoam plates
cobbled into the white and narrow,
stretching upward into clouds,
cups curbing both sides, rim-to-rim,
each with a paper napkin
and a plastic fork
tucked neatly inside.
(First published in Clapboard House, Spring, 2009)
©2016 Clela Reed
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