Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sandy McIntosh

From "Nathan" from Ernesta in the Style of the Flamenco

Part I: Fabric
1.
“Hey, you,” Father called.
“Come feel this new suit of mine,
Coattails, this fabric,
Intricate touch.” They fit,
As if he’d been
Born to them,
Not they made to his order.

“Gentlemen of our station”
(He unctuous, purring, instructing)
“Are rightly judged
By texture of clothing, moral
Fiber, by tailor’s pattern.
Above all, our Anglican Church:
Always respecting the gentleman’s gesture,
Never intruding upon personal
Religious beliefs.

Sundays with him, an oasis
Of admiration by others
Sitting by our side
All in tailored elegance. How
Wonderful our reflections
He sun,
I moon.

He died, though,
His coffin lowered
Into earth
On endless rope,
Uncoiling spindle.
We waited days,
Nights
For sound
Of landing. But sound
Came there none.

Eventually, I believed,
He’d come to rest
In China.
He’d open his eyes
And in utter delight
Detect himself arrived
In a country
To his immense liking,
A country
Filled with tailors!


2.
Father gone, I
Found myself in white mountains,
At school in white buildings,
Where snow fell always.
Our jackets and slacks
White,
And we boys of wind-bleached skins,
Light hair, pink eyes,
Some of us tall, towering,
Others small huddling,
Like me.

Friends I found none.
Memory of nameless girl:
Country Club tea dance.
My first, only love gone from me
Aborning.

Winds blew up the valleys
And I was hungry, hungry.
In sleep I cried in
Ancient language, language
Of my father:
“Eala, Faeder hu fela hyrlinga
on mines fæder huse half genohne

habbað, ond ic her on

hunger forweorðe!”
And then I would vow:
“Ic arise ond ic fare to minum fæder
and ic secge him, ‘Eala fæder, ic syngode
On heofonas and beforan þe.

I have sinned on heaven and before you.
Let me back
Into the home of your comfort,
Inspiration! But
The morning drifts
Did not
Abate.

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