By Ruth Ellen Kocher
This is often the writer s first publication and winner of the 1999 Naomi lengthy Madgett Poetry Award. whereas miscegenation has continuously been extra part of American background than many are looking to admit, Desdemona s fireplace trips via this usually forbidden panorama in poems which are occasionally painfully poignant, but clean of their imagery and element.
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Additional resources for Desdemona's fire: poems
Near the flattened body of a mocking-bird chick thrown over by an indifferent breeze, I find the paper and clip out their names, their brief histories and gray scale photos: Debbie O'Boyle, Cory Steele, Bobby Hunter, remembering that we have only ourselves and a slim promise of wind, sun and evening, perhaps, rain. Live. S. Your brother has died. You can come to this moment as it was, the way fire smacked back against the snow so that the whole yard of the trailer seemed saved, finally, by orange light.
This was a home. Aunt Charlene Ryan. Evlyne DeGrafenreid who said Dee-GRAF-en-reeed like a sweet thing dying on her tongue. Strong, black-willed-single-mother-raising-children kinds of women that sat me down, raked the first hot combs through green streaks of Afro-sheen and pomade, twisted my scalp into corn-rows racing to one knot at my neck, all with hair kept like a duty that would keep them whole and tightly woven as the pony-tail plaits, the tucked bun, the thick, spun twists of hair. Susan's grows like mine though she is as white as the polished egg of a hen.
Nine hundred families that needed to sleep. A sleep that was built into corners and walls. Corners that made up small, white rooms. Rows of rooms, and rooms and rooms. This was a home. Aunt Charlene Ryan. Evlyne DeGrafenreid who said Dee-GRAF-en-reeed like a sweet thing dying on her tongue. Strong, black-willed-single-mother-raising-children kinds of women that sat me down, raked the first hot combs through green streaks of Afro-sheen and pomade, twisted my scalp into corn-rows racing to one knot at my neck, all with hair kept like a duty that would keep them whole and tightly woven as the pony-tail plaits, the tucked bun, the thick, spun twists of hair.
Desdemona's fire: poems by Ruth Ellen Kocher