Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Get to the Other Side

To Get to the Other Side

The pigeon scurries on matchstick legs,
head pushed forward to help it to run faster,
to get out of the street and away from the car.
It has forgotten about the wings on its shoulders.

Six deer lined up on the riverbank,
a garland, a paper chain, headed up the grass
for the road under the snow sifting down.

The spider showers with me.
She has learned that the steam makes the ceiling,
her floor, slick. She lowers herself a millimeter,
her body the harness.

The parking lot is full of evergreens.
A seagull guards the entrance.
What a weird forest
we are inspired to throw together.


  1. From Therese L. Broderick -- This poem resonates with me in many ways, now that I'm thick within the snowy holiday season, waiting to get to the other side, the New Year. If I really stretch my imagination, this pigeon is an angel, deer garlands are strings of decorations, the spider is mistletoe, and the forest is a type of creche enclosure, a protected manger. I love the idea of a strange forest...maybe like a Peaceable Kingdom?

  2. lovely all the images you prepared for me this morning! xoxo

  3. Oh wow. I really like this. I like the pigeons who have forgotten they have wings, and I love the way you describe the deer, and the spider. Then that last line just throws assumptions about an orderly world all into a cocked hat. Love it.

  4. On the whole, I like the poem, although the weakest lines are the shortest, where the interplay of the rhythm and the breath needed doesn't work as well.

    I am also not quite sure that the rhythm of the last line is as strong as it could be. While it starts with a technically unstressed syllable, in practice I find myself placing a secondary stress there, which is needed due to the unstressed final syllable of the previous line's feminine ending. Now, my problem is that placing an extra, unstressed syllable at the very start of the final line works, not only be creating a sense of deferral of that secondary stress, but also by making that secondary stress all the more explicit, and by subtly demanding more from the speaker. The music, the pitch, too, changes, and becomes something both more complex and more subtle, and, as a result, more satisfying.

    But that is probably just me, and probably just my own reaction.

  5. I can see those deer Hannah. Beautiful!

  6. Dear Hannah,

    thank you for your lovely response on my Badgers Rock! blog. I am glad that I have been able to help support your writing, and I apologise for being so quiet lately.




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