Lantern, Then Light

by Stacy Kidd

Once, when the women ate rattlesnake and dreamt
they grew scales over their skin—

How the sky came trembling upon the house.
                                                                        Or the house,
filled with milk, shroud and craving,
the night that found flies in its neck, the night’s wrenchings
of dirt and nail.

                         Then I was only a speck in the fields, Lord.
A Lowing. Loose pasture,
                                         the coop’s handful of shell.
That the women who feared too few fish
and fowl, Lord. The women who washed their backs
bare in the river,
                           warned their sons would wear fins and feathers.
That they dreamt the sky’s eight eyes!

Then came Your Season of Dust, Lord. The bedroom’s light
and leather. Luster. His watching the crows from the window.

Lord, his black, black hair.

Stacy Kidd recently completed an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas where she held the Walton Fellowship in Poetry. Currently a Lecturer in English at Oklahoma State University, she has published most recently in DMQ Review and Verse Daily.