Poems by Florence Dacey

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Not One Thing Bright

by Florence Dacey

From Canary Fall 2015

Florence lives in the Cannon River watershed in Northfield, Minnesota.

I hoard the gold
of poplars, silver bark of birch
till they brown in earth
and fade as we do
under the witness of trees.

My bulls and bears
trample and snarl at my need.
I’ll eat each slice
of moon’s shadowy bread.
Live on waves.
Dash on rocks.

Nothing keeps me safe
as colors found then squandered.
Not paper made to buy our separation.
Not one thing bright that cost a life.

The Threshold

by Florence Dacey

From Canary Spring 2016

The whooping crane is an endangered species, brought back from near extinction by ingenious humans, but still in peril.

Over our subtle states of mind,
            the fine print,
the whooping crane
            one foot

            A single crane
            vast isolate valleys
under her wings,
            rises like a rarified rig
from managed marshes
            where blue crabs so far still feed
her royal mauve
            feathers ruffling like
white sepulchers in fog.

            And the prow,
the curve of that neck
            graced by wind’s egress,
lap of water on shell and egg,
            that head we calculate in
                        our paltry arithmetic:

            Fifty nesting pairs
would be
            enough, they say,
sufficient beaks and bones
            stern eyes and
feathers enough,
            to fly,
to bear us
                        the threshold.

Previously published in To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present, (New Rivers Press) and in Rock Worn by Water (Plain View Press)

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