Losing March

Northern Mockingbird

At 17, I discovered leaves on trees,
carved veins of light fanning into
a kaleidoscope of green, sawed edges
sharpened into points, bird feathers
descending into arched clouds.

Looking out the window,
lens perched upon my nose, told
to examine the drip of eucalyptus
weighted in sky, held in a metallic grip,
with flaky fingers and root sprawl.

Is this how it’s supposed to be,
a spectacle of finely crafted edges,
when life had been pools of blue rooted
in waves of mountains, palo verdes
a smear of pollen yellow, cacti coated
and licked like well-groomed cats?

The day the world came into focus,
childhood became the soft underbelly,
a tangible abstract of cotton figurines,
until a glut of detail revealed
sticks no longer whittled into animal
shapes but sharpened into spears.

And here I am, in the wake of morning,
no lens to correct my vision, closing the
eyes of my 10-year-old self, only to hear
mockingbirds sing stolen trills, knowing they
don’t sing for joy, but rather to defend all the
imaginary lines drawn for self-preservation.




23 thoughts on “Losing March

  1. danielpaulmarshall

    Reblogged this on Daniel Paul Marshall and commented:
    An absolute belter by S.S. Hicks, the dweller of the desert, but her imagery may come out of the desert, but its certainly ain’t deserted of density & complexity. An astonishing control of verbs to set the action of nature moving: got to appreciate “light fanning into a kaleidoscope of green” the unexpected use of “fanning” complimenting “kaleidoscope”, which on its own risks being cliche, but that verb saves it & reinforces it beautifully.

      1. danielpaulmarshall

        Thanks S. i am trying something new: mon-thurs i do re-blogs, sort of like giving something back, sort of, trying to overcome the slight ego of blogging, getting over the blog just being about me & rather sharing what i have enjoyed reading. your poem stood tall in a forest. & then fri-sun my own stuff.

  2. Debbie

    Ooh, can hardly wait for you to share the wisdom you glean from that writers conference, DD. Best of luck with the novel, too. I know how frustrating that sort of thing can be — don’t give up, okay?? Lovely poem here today, and I’ve missed you, you know.

  3. Don Royster

    We missed you too. Congratulations on your poem being published. If it’s online, please give us the link. And what a beautiful poem. You seem to be getting better and better at this poetry gig.

  4. L. T. Garvin, Author

    Delightfully descriptive. D.D. I especially like the animal shapes sharpening into spears. I think I’ve lived that one. I hate how writers cannot submit their blog posts for publication. This should not matter, very few of us have tens of thousands of followers, after all, so it’s not like that many people have read it. This just causes us to have to write double. Lovely poem, always good to see you on WP.

    1. Desert Dweller

      I completely agree! We should be able to submit posts for publication elsewhere. Most of us don’t have thousands of followers. And follows doesn’t necessarily translate to readers. (I’ve had people follow me without even looking at my site!) For a lot of people, blogging is just a numbers game. They follow you but have no intention of being a reader. I only return to blogging because of the core group of writer friends who are a generous and talented bunch, like yourself!

      1. L. T. Garvin, Author

        Awe, thanks so much, D.D. It is truly trying to attempt to cover all those bases. You are correct, followers aren’t necessarily readers. One thing I found out when I was sending my children’s books around, especially the small publishers….they want to know about your “social media outreach.” This is the reason that initially brought me to blogging, but now, as you mentioned, I maintain it because of the wonderful connections that I have made in the process.

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