Tony Webster CC
One Morning When We Rose Early
Memory of her voice, her crown, on the phone in the dark,
as we planned for a sunrise over the Catskills, and the next day
as I waited for the light to come over the hill, for her to come
and be the light before the light. This was before I understood
that wanting comes from somewhere hurt. Her breasts like the bed
I wanted to die in, her voice like the color green, her face
like the harvest moon, dipped in wax. I wanted to touch her body
the way I had wanted to be touched by my mother: gently, just before sleeping,
sexless as stones. I waited on the hill and she came before dawn
as she said she would, came under my blanket to warm with me our bodies
as the sky bloomed from navy to white, the last star holding stubborn
to watered silk. She came and shivered with me and the icy sun
and we sang rounds, me and this mother I had made for myself
in the Great North out of flesh and cloth.
Meghan Sterling’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Rattle, Rust & Moth, The West Review, Colorado Review, Pacifica Literary Review, SWIMM, Sky Island Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, River Heron Review, and many others, and was the winner of Sweet Literary’s 2021 Annual Poetry Contest, Winner of Equinox’s 2021 Annual Poetry Contest, and a Finalist in River Heron Review’s 2021 Annual Poetry Contest and Gigantic Sequins’ 2021 Annual Poetry Contest. She is Associate Poetry Editor of The Maine Review, a Hewnoaks Artist Colony resident in 2019 and 2021, and her debut collection, These Few Seeds, came out in 2021 from Terrapin Books. She and her family live in Portland, Maine. Read her work at meghansterling.com.
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