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Poet Laureate Poem Prompt—Winter 2018: Elizabeth Woody
We hope ‘s Elizabeth Woody’s poem will inspire you, as a reader, to discover a feeling you hadn’t named before or a resonance you hadn’t expected. For the writer/artist, let the poem as prompt carry you to some place new in your work. Photo Credit: Amy Castano
My Brother–Elizabeth Woody
It was bruise marks of hands that alluded to tracks of murder.
Her neck was twisted too many times in short rope,
and the tree too high for a small woman.
“He was here.” He says,
“He came to her new Man,
too, and said that he was coming for him next.”
The nightmare is black tongue.
The form in the room
laughs, “Ha Ha, Goody!”
He sees that it is vapor.
Later, when he cuts her down,
he knows that she came to him,
to him, she laughed.
The night will not make her unhappy.
He had no time to hunt,
since he had to bury
three more brothers the next day.
Car wreck on ice.
The insidious soul danced across the river
to entice other women to death.
If he is man,
he is subject to will.
If one prefers Archangels,
he can be cast into oblivion.
That does not comfort the people
and we must battle
with Bell and Prayer, for the brother.
This will take up the nights
and the rest of our thoughts.
The brother has seen the foreshadowing of events.
He will bring the damned down in his fisherman’s grip
into the mad boil of the river’s strength.
From Luminaries of the Humble by Elizabeth Woody. © 1994 The Arizona Board of Regents. Reprinted by permission of the University of Arizona Press.