"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Monday, June 14, 2010

FIRST ENCOUNTER XVIII: A poem by Phoebe Roper

(inspired by Elizabeth Bishop)

At dawn, raucous
and vain
you awake us again
and again -
your song, your sake, your say:
“Wake up! I’m here!”

You hurl words into our sleep
our day
and keep
flaunting that blood crest, throbbing;
arched chest and royal tail
you who, each dawn, create the world.

But I admit you did wake up Peter -
terrified into recognition
of his betrayal
unto death
Death, that with His contrition, saved;
forgave and forgave.

Was this a phoenix birth
this rude, rash awakening
of intractable earth
this sudden dark dawn
of shame
no angel song below
just that outrageous
cock crow?

Phoebe Roper, Halifax, N.S.

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