In honor of National Poetry Month, here is a poem from my university creative writing days. This poem’s style imitates that of the Swampy Cree First Nation from Canada. Their poetry often described a person by his/her attributes and was written in community voice.
Who Saw Doves
She came to us from the shore,
pale-skinned with stringy yellow hair.
Vultures smelled sea salt
on her flesh, swooped near her ears
and crowed, We love you.
We told her not to believe them –
that they wanted to taste
the ocean fish in her belly –
but she could not hear us
over the beating of feathers.
Laughing, she climbed high into the oak
and crawled into the nest. Surrounded by vultures,
she whispered, How lovely to be a friend
of the doves.
“Who Saw Doves” was part of my collection, “Olive Branch,” which I presented at the 2013 Sigma Tau Delta Convention. It was also featured in Watershed, Baker University’s literary magazine.