Amy Nocton – Now I Am the Raven’s Sticks, the Nightingale’s Bidding

Now I Am the Raven’s Sticks, the Nightingale’s Bidding

Once I was a lie, her deceit, dreamt inside
a solemn oath.

Once I was a fledgling, folded in threads and nestled
in another’s hands.

Once I was the undertow swept along the stones of the swift sea
sister to the selkie’s distant shores.

Once I was a soft rain with hands so small no one
saw their mischief.

Once I was a jockey, a lithe and lanky girl,
racing midwestern grain.

Once I was shattered glass, hidden
in a classroom drawer.

Once I was a foreigner disguised in languages
not my own.

Once I was seafoam hooves that crashed the shore
as I galloped through a hurricane.

Once I was a hand-me-down purple velvet dress,
gold brocade and sharped tongued wit.

Once I was reflected in a sea turtle’s eye
as it swam in grace.

Now I am the raven’s
sticks, the nightingale’s bidding.

Now I am tumbleweeds,
somersaults and a ball of rubber bands.

Now I am bullets, bombs, and bodies washed ashore
and others, more fortunate, ferried through caves and catacombs to light.

Now I am a meadow starfish
on a stalk, a milkweed feast for seaward monarchs.

Now I am an opalescent
dragonfly skimming the sky, scarcely noticed, quietly needed.

Now I am a piece
of sky framed by Queen Anne’s lace from below.

Today I am
his yesterday’s opaque promise, erased.



Amy Nocton has taught high school Spanish and/or Italian for twenty-six years.  She is currently employed by E.O. Smith High School in Mansfield, CT.  She also teaches composition for the non-native speaker as an adjunct at the University of Connecticut.  She lives with her family off a dirt road in a land trust protected forest surrounded by great neighbors, fox, coyote, bobcat, deer, and other woodland creatures.  She has been previously published in Inti,: Revista de literatura hispánicaThe Bookends ReviewPoetry Ireland Review, and Ethel Zine.

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