the quail of her oblivion

"Quailsafe," by Charley Harper

“Mother’s Quail”

In the copse
of her mind, a fluster
of quail, tonic
of quail, each her own
failure,
boozy and flushed
from briar by a panic
gripped from kin
to kin,

so they hover—
mother and daughter
and daughter
and daughter—
large-bodied, terrified,
though nobody
wants them.

Cloud of quail, eying
steeple heights
but failing,
her covey backlit
and looming, huge
as buckshot
when it balloons
down, scribbling earth
with its landings.

They tell a tranquil-
lized fortune:
days of luckless
labor and sadnesses
too frail to utter.
Shoulder to shoulder,
they fail,
the quail of her
actual and the quail
of her oblivion.

Puala Bohince, The New Yorker, September 21, 2009

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About asiajane

librarian, mama, bibliophile, foodie, pop-culture enthusiast, and design junkie
This entry was posted in poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to the quail of her oblivion

  1. LittleBig says:

    Beautiful.

    And god, do I love Charlie Harper.

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