Friday, January 6, 2017

Complaint by James Wright

Moonlady tangled in trees.

Getting over the flu.  It's an icy day in Swamplandia...rare & beautiful & magical here in the warm Deep South.


She’s gone. She was my love, my moon or more.
She chased the chickens out and swept the floor,
Emptied the bones and nut-shells after feasts,
And smacked the kids for leaping up like beasts.
Now morbid boys have grown past awkwardness;
The girls let stitches out, dress after dress,
To free some swinging body’s riding space
And form the new child’s unimagined face.
Yet, while vague nephews, spitting on their curls,
Amble to pester winds and blowsy girls,
What arm will sweep the room, what hand will hold
New snow against the milk to keep it cold?
And who will dump the garbage, feed the hogs,
And pitch the chickens’ heads to hungry dogs?
Not my lost hag who dumbly bore such pain:
Childbirth at midnight sassafras and rain.
New snow against her face and hands she bore,
And now lies down, who was my moon or more.
“Complaint” by James Wright from Above the River: Complete Poems. © Noonday Press, 1992.

1 comment:

erin said...

this seems like such a strange wright poem to me. (james tells me he thinks it might be one of his earlier poems.) usually i find wright so serious. and severe. enough so that i listen to him. respect him.

your moon photo is gorgeous.

happy new year, by the way))