Tag Archives: Davis

Heaven

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Wolf moon
 with yellow-green eyes,
 slipping between trees,
 slipping from heaven.
  
 Timber wolf
 with yellow-green eyes,
 slipping between trees,
 slipping between exploding bullets-
  
 heaven slipping between
 our fingers. 

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What Hope Is

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

I’ll tell you
 what hope is.
 It’s not going
 to the grocery store
 and getting yelled at 
 for bringing your
 screaming son along
 and then next week
 doing it again.
  
 It is breaking through
 the thick cloak that surrounds him
 and finding a small increment
 of communication,
 reaching down into
 the cylinder of autism
 and pulling out
 shafts of light. 

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A Quiet Night

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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Christmas

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

 We dropped her off
 after the Christmas program.
 Snow was on the ground.
 The night was cold.
  
 We waited, with
 our car running,
 for her to get inside.
  
 But,
 instead of going
 in the front door,
 she scurried up
 a wooden ladder
 that was placed outside
 to an upstairs bedroom.
  
 Faster than a blink of an eye
 she went,
 faster than we ran up                
 our own stairs at home.
   

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The Racing Clouds of Winter

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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Separation

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

At birth,
the farmer separated
the calf from its mother.
He wiped away
the amniotic fluid
with a gunny sack
before putting him
in a separate pen.
 
Black children born
to enslaved parents were
taken from their weeping mothers
and moved hundreds of miles away.
 
Native children
were snatched from anxious parents
and moved to some miserable life.
 
A Central American baby
Is ripped from its mother’s arms.
Both baby and mother’s spirits
are broken.
 
The farmer’s wife protested,
“keep the calf with its mother.
Do you need every ounce of milk?”
 
“This is the way we do things,”
replied the farmer.

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The New Calves

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The new calves
are growing stiff
from the wetness of birth,
 
and old men
come running across the fields
asking,
who killed our
apple-blossom time?
 
I say to them,
surely dead leaves
can’t grow in your pockets now.

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Flicker

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

At dawn
a loud crash
sounded against the house.
A flicker lay struggling
on the ground,
his life ending.
 
A beautiful bird
with speckled chest,
yellow tail,
and red feathers
on his head
looked as though
his spine was broken.
 
I put him in a quiet
part of the garden.
His weak cries were fearful.
 
Later that day,
when I checked,
he seemed closer to death.
 
The next morning
when I went to collect him,
he was gone.
 
I want to think
he got up and flew
up to the top of my tree,
but probably a cat or fox
found him on their trek
across the country.

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Unfurrowing

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The unfurrowing
of new leaves
is like a carefully
synchronized orchestra
with each musician
in exact harmony.
 
But we do not stand
and applaud.
 
Only Oriole gets up
and sings his splendid song,
dressed in brightly colored
vestments.

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The Rite of Spring

photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis

IMG_0535

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