If I look for you in the marshes

of a bird reserve,

will I find you

in the wooden blind looking at a grey wren,

or the North Sea staring at gulls?

You are not in the hide, on the sea,

not in my arms. In the room

we shared I look for the hollow of your shoulder,

find only air and the scent

of a blue jacket flapping through airplane doors

sounds of electronic closings sicken me.

That eel we watched gulped by a cormorant,

stalked by a hopeful heron, was a violence

no more true than the way Africa has swallowed you.


In these poems, Mary Hanford Bruce explores her awakening consciousness

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