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 hispánica, The Bookends Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Ethel Zine.