Kelly Cherry’s Hazard and Prospect

The Rose
Kelly Cherry

                  A botanical lecture
It’s the cup of blood,
the dark drink lovers sip,
the secret food
It’s the pulse and elation
of girls on their birthdays,
it’s good-byes at the railroad station
It’s the murmur of rain,
the blink of daylight
in a still garden, the clink
of crystal; later, the train
pulling out, the white cloth,
apples, pears, and champagne –
good-bye! good-bye!
We’ll weep petals, and dry
our tears with thorns
A steep country springs up beyond
the window, with a sky like a pond,
a flood.  It’s a rush
of bright horror, a burning bush,
night’s heart,
the living side of the holy rood
It’s the whisper of grace in the martyrs’ wood
from Hazard and Prospect: New and Selected Poems
(Louisiana State University Press, 2007)

4 thoughts on “Kelly Cherry’s Hazard and Prospect

  1. Julie

    I got caught up in the rhythm and structure first. That doesn’t usually happen to me. Usually, I read what the poem says and then go back and look at the lines. The breaths are awesome!

    Then I read it again. And again. Absolutely beautiful and poignant. Thank you for posting it!

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