A Sunday Afternoon Poem

"As If There Is No Thing Loved To Keep" by Judith Neeld


As If There Is No Loved Thing To Keep

A small red owl trapped in chimney
freed almost into my hands
panics, flies out
a door opened for her.
The unfired stack clean
her feathers untarnished
like new bronze.
A branch not far, settling her
re-membering the life
she had trusted.


A slat marsh change from summer
to the pigment of owl wings.
Did I look for the small white asters
too early this year, or was it
drought dealt them a low card
in the deck of flowering?
I think of stars
dropped by night
I bend to them
rise with empty hands. 

~Judith Neeld


Judith Neeld is the former Director of the Martha's Vineyard Writers Workshop for the Nathan Mayhew Seminars. She has served as the de facto Chair of the Cleaveland House Poets for18 years. She is the former Editor/Publisher (16 years) ofStone Country, a national journal of poetry and criticism. Judith has five published books of poems and is published in numerous magazines and anthologies. In 2009, eight of her poems were published in the book entitled, “Wednesday's Poets, an Anthology.” She is the only poet in Martha's Vineyard history to receive the national Poetry Society of America's “Emily Dickinson Prize.”

About this column: This Sunday Afternoon Poems is provided by the Martha's Vineyard Poetry Society (MVPS). With almost 200 members, MVPS is the island's largest poetry organization. Besides providing an island-wide poetry forum, MVPS is responsible for nominating and selecting the island's Martha's Vineyard Poet Laureate.

B.Martin Wlodyka November 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM
This poem evokes delicate textures that invoke presence into focus and left me to marvel placidly.


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