Poetry | Looking for a Sign and Other Poems

August 5, 2021

Looking for a Sign

The telephone psychic says, now,
you are birds, tiny birds,
and I wonder if this is human mercy
at its most generous.
I cannot step outside without meeting
birds. Even now, as I sit on the porch and write
this very poem, a sparrow lands three feet away.
And another on the lawn.
It was the birds, too, that woke me this morning.

Yes, it was me who left the window open
but I am certain it was nothing short of the divine.

Connor Points Out the Two Geese

The sun has lowered beneath the horizon
and still the sky looks more blue than not.
Yes, there are days when night comes all too early
but this is not one of them.
On the beach geese stand in a pair facing the pinkened water;
aside from wings and arms there is no difference between us that I can see.

We stand before the water and know that it is good.
We prefer to be beside each other.

Observation

What can I say except
sorrow is a lake.

Though I know
mine is not the only boat
floating on its waters,
I cannot see the others
through the fog.

The Straw Hat by Nikos Lytras

The Straw Hat by Nikos Lytras

On the Selves I No Longer Inhabit

You see I still have the scenes, but I no longer perceive myself among those present, no longer could ever improvise the dialogue. —Joan Didion

I have walked into the fog before
and who’s to say it did not consume me;
or that I won’t walk, again.

Nothing has been the same; surely not this body
which dies year after year
all the while claiming its original name.

For so long the river was still running.
I had the scenes. I tasted it all.
There was only one way to speak.

Yes, I have walked into the fog. I have dissolved in it;
only to appear, again, with an unfamiliar visage.

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Photo: Dave Ellis via Unsplash; Europeana via Unsplash

Natalli Amato
Natalli's first collection of poems was published by Ra Press in September 2019. The poems are a celebration of the Lake Ontario region and serve as a reflection on how the human experience fits into the natural order of nature. The collection includes Natalli's poem "When I am Shucking Corn," which was awarded Syracuse University's Edwin T. Whiffen Poetry Prize. Find out more at her website.

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