BONUS: Happy May Day with Sylvia Cavanaugh #npm16 #wppoets

[April Poetry Month 2016 Table of Contents]

Cavanaugh photo


Sylvia Cavanaugh has an M.S. in Urban Planning, and teaches high school cultural studies. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems have appeared in Midwest Prairie Review, Gyroscope Review, Verse Wisconsin, Verse-Virtual, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Staring Through My Eyes, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2016.





Hot Flash

To forge weapons
with fire
is a sign that we are civilized
but the taste of knowledge
had its price
dealt in a currency
of fertility
in calendar clicks of counted days
a real blood bargain
paid periodically
paid in labor pains and
in pre-menstrual syndromes

but now I wield
my own damned fire
to cauterize the wound
the first sin settled up
my womb
now sweated caustic clean
Adam’s bones are mine
and he is scorched

turning on these embers
he re-arranges and adjusts
looks at me
across his stiff
cold shoulder
and winks

………………First published in Red Cedar Review



Perfectly round ova
nested within
were formed along with the rest of the body
in the shelter of a mother’s space
from her own singular orb
round eggs round the chain of
life it clicks along
propels a forward tide

while men burrow down in furrows of
clone technologies make their
swimming cells redundant
whiplash tails
accidents of evolution
all come down to our bodies
our brains
and our inventions

like this red and gleaming two-wheeled frame
perfect fit between two legs
propulsion honed to hip and knee
press of foot and ankle flex

thumb and bell cry
we are coming
we are coming
self-satisfied we

cruise a moist planet
her many trails

………………First Published in The Camel Saloon


Fort of Blankets

built over the sidewalk
in this neighborhood of no grass

where a massive chestnut tree
casts costly shade
over its choke collar of concrete
rust-brick houses press close

Beatrice invites me in
I crouch down through the doorway
her bedroom blanket
auras rosy over my telling
of mountain stories
abandoned mills and mines
heavy revolvers
and dealings with spirits
the need to navigate the dark with care

she seems to like the part
about the spirits and the dark
asks for more
our limbs lazily touch

rough scrape of sidewalk
muffled thin as the comfort we spin
I know now that I want to kiss her
like a sister
but had no words for it then

blue eyes and brown
round as a settled world

………………First published in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review


[April Poetry Month 2016 Table of Contents]

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