Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAD WOMAN'S SONG, by KAREN SWENSON



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THE MAD WOMAN'S SONG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My downy head, dream head, sleep my son
Last Line: I sing him safe, my pale chestnut bloom.
Subject(s): Comfort; Mothers & Sons


My downy head, dream head, sleep my son
safe from the shapes that come from the sea
twisting in foam on the lips of the tide
but leaving no track where sandpipers run.

With long seaweed hair, they snare the children
drown them among the stalks of dark kelp.
Walking the shore by the sea's green din
I gather the white shells of children's eyes

to keep in a basket for the mother
mourning her child, her mouth full of salt, who
follows the moon's path to my back porch
and searches the basket for eyes that are hers.

I'd hold my son warm against my breath, but
fleeing my arms and scoldings, he climbs,
sits among spires of the chestnut's white flowers
and seeks a sail where the squall draws its line.

They leap at his tree like rock-flung spume;
chanting, I force them back to the sand.
Nighttime they finger the windows with fog and
I sing him safe, my pale chestnut bloom.





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net