Wildwood Wife

Jo Carney Click to

Jo Carney’s multi-media life led from theater to jazz singer, then to writing three novels of historical fiction and a non-fiction adventure through Alaska.  Her poetry has been featured in several anthologies, including Montauk by Montauk Press, Out of Season by Amagansett Press and Poems for the Shore by Saltwater Press.

Taking a fancy to the woods I marry
if for no other reason than I liked his place.
Call me moonchild, triggerfish, dreamer,
or a kettle hole dolly with a big mama style.
From Bearing East to Quadrant Hill
I roam back paths, cutting through
windfall and blueberry undergrowth,
a tribe to myself, a saltwater river
with a womb full of nest eggs
                                               and a mate at sea.

Nights I lie naked telling jokes to myself
          and dream other woods, other fires --
it's all there in genetic confusion,
blood lust and Donny boys dancing.
the harp and the pipe and
                                                bats in the dark

until the sun peeps into this deciduous dizziness.

The rite of bread-making begins at first light
          and my grandma taught me how
to fill a house with the smell of yeast and wheat
                                            taking form under fire.

The last of the piping plovers
call this island home, and my babies too
will ripen here and dream themselves forth
in a furrow of their own time, a cradle
or pine needle nest: this parish of
tail walkers and ogle-eyed owls.


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