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

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SONG OF THE MAD WOMAN'S SON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: High in the chestnut tree
Last Line: I watch for daddy's sail on the tide.
Subject(s): Homecoming; Sailing & Sailors

High in the chestnut tree
I watch the sea through the leaves,
waiting for Daddy's sail to come home
while Mama talks to the things she sees.

Singing all night she gathers
shells by the tide's white mark;
pale as the chestnut's steeple of flowers
her voice spills petals into the dark.

I go into my room
and straighten all of my drawers
folding my shirts and rolling my socks
to close her song behind the door.

Rocking, kissing my hair,
her arms are locked about me;
good in her lap, I mean to be still
but my body drowning twists, runs free,

runs down the daisy meadow
and climbs the tree to ride
where the wind sings in Mama's high voice while
I watch for Daddy's sail on the tide.

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