Empty Ring, Nest Fire

Sun Yung Shin on

Published in Poem Of The Day

My first burnt bark child-flung to the windless flames
Second sly child-dressed for weather, swan skinned
Serpents impress diamonds into my salt shoulders
This composed with the Devil's black forked feet

He wants them back, sunk in hot white ink
Tentacles; mother-hunger hundred-mouths; the drift and night-closures

Number one child, the jawbone I packed for you, axe-bright
Number two child, that hard set of hooves, elegant, horse-swift

Recall that one midsummer squall, us the color of water
The shock of hail: the sky astonished, dropping all its blind white eyes

About this poem
"The poem is my first attempt to write from my experience of my children growing up and becoming more independent. Like many children in fairy tales, they must go out into a difficult world; it's hard to begin to let go, and I can only hope that I have equipped them with (at least some of) the right things."
-Sun Yung Shin

About Sun Yung Shin
Sun Yung Shin is the author of "Unbearable Splendor" (Coffee House Press, 2016). She teaches at Macalester College and lives in Minneapolis.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

(c) 2015 Sun Yung Shin. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate




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