blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


PIVOT POINTS  |  Elizabeth Seydel Morgan

The Adamsons' Peacocks

Brakes screech, heavy metal thunks. A second, then glass crashes.
Behind by woods there's been another wreck on Three Chopt Road.

Waiting for the sirens makes me hear the silence.
And in that silence come uncanny human cries for help.

I've lived here long enough to know this cry
Is like, but only like, a woman's in the labor room,

Or a woman slammed against a wall with two hands on her shoulders
Who know that what these hands do next will kill her in some way.

Help, oh help, oh, help: the desperate aspirants of pain,
The long vowels of howling the long hours of the first birth.

Or the cry you tried to stifle, trying to be quiet, to hide
From someone—the parents, the children—the truest sound you make.

The way a peacock calls its mate: unseemly, raucous, screamed.
Like brakes too late, like any passion over the limit,

Beyond the gorgeous plumage, after the measured dancing,
Past any sequential ritual we ever learned.  


 The Adamsons'
   Without a Philosophy
   Sin una Filosofia

   Notes and Acknowledgments
   Levis Reading Loop