Her Name Was Maggie

Her Name Was Maggie

A Poem by Zeb Smith

Dawn is a strip of white gauze, yellowing

like pus, through the oaks. A mourning dove coos

on the power line. I go out, shoeless

for a magnolia pod; its red berries

shaped like pills, brown husk wet and soft in green

monkey grass. Back inside, I dissect it

with a gifted skinning knife. Creation

begins with destruction. I can feel it

give way under the blade, crack like old bone

against steel. The curved blade goes through, into

the cherry desktop, cuts a gash against

the hard grain. Blood. Blood. Blood. Birds eat the seeds.

Outside, the crows saw me and put a spell

on me. They know what I wrote about them.

A woman asked me why something always

dies or is dead in my poems and prose.

I intended to attempt a sonnet

about a magnolia, how the tree births

the pods, sets them free to spread their seeds. Blood

alters the color of the bleached paper

the desk, the chemistry of the poem.

Outside the window I see a dozen

pods, their berries bright as arterial blood

a murder of crows in the monkey grass.

I go out to catch one. They all fly off.

A child waves, biking by.  It is written.


© 2022 Zeb Smith

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Added on September 27, 2022
Last Updated on September 27, 2022
Tags: nature, trauma, PTSD, writing


Zeb Smith
Zeb Smith


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