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