"Marriage" by Bernadette Darnell

All right, my father was not
the big man I say he was.
Here’s a picture of me as a child
climbing his knee.

Look, how he was
small boned, precise
in life, delicate in death
as dust and as quickly gone.

You will never make it up.
My mouth is always open.
Hungry old bird, my greed
knows no bounds.

In dreams we bring the dead
alive and those green shoots
we used to be as well.
We scare ourselves.

In daylight we drink coffee
and forget. Give us a taste,
love, that first bit of morning
sky on your spoon.


Bernadette Darnell has a MA from the University of New Hampshire where she studied with Charles Simic. She lives is Amesbury and is a teacher in Newburyport, Massachusetts.