Two Poems


                        —for Harryette Mullen


Speech a tremble,
“Why not stop?”
“Why not tremble?”

Blessings from the other birds.
Bread again.
“What is as sweet?”

Every grain of word is wheat.
“Why not stop?”
“What is as sweet?”
Bread again.





                 November 9, 2016


We knew we needed sisters.
We hoped to make them count
The way we thought our brothers did.
We craved. We yearned. We spent

Our closest words in silence,
Heard matriculture scorned,
Sucked hard the food of insult,
Forgot how we’d been born.

Today is for moss and quietness,
A path for salty hurt
From intimate directions:
Beside, behind, in front.

Walk this brilliant forest,
Hugging and bleeding. Spell
Wisdom how our wombs do.
The spiraling is real.

We never have been islands.
Our planet hangs in our balance.
Yes, they have weapons that mean
It’s time. Pledge allegiance.




Annie Finch is the author of numerous books of poetry and poetics, most recently the poetry-writing textbook A Poet’s Craft (University of Michigan Press) and Spells: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press). Her poems have been performed at Carnegie Hall, installed in New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and published in The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry.  She teaches in the low-res MFA program at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.


Share This