Kate Hanson Foster


Hooded Crows by Bruno Liljefors

I open the backdoor and baptize
myself in a clean rush of garden air.

The crows announce themselves—
a sub-song of quick, downward cuts

from tall pines. Have we met?

A child buries her head
into the warmth of my waist. I look

down and my own face is looking back,
like the dull glow of moon in earthlight.

I am amazed by my own body.
The assembly of cells building and rebuilding

without incident, or song, or ceremony.
I comb skeins of hair, brush clipped

fingernails into a dustpan—slivers
of life I simply collect and throw

away. I sink my knife deep into the skin
of vegetables—eat the light hidden

in the tomato. The slow horse of my heart
clopping as if it has nothing better to do.


About the writer:
Kate Hanson Foster’s first book of poems, Mid Drift, was published by Loom Press and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Center for the Book Award in 2011. Her work has appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, Comstock Review, Harpur Palate, Poet Lore, Salamander, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She was recently awarded the NEA Parent Fellowship through the Vermont Studio Center. She lives and writes in Groton, Massachusetts.

Image: Hooded Crows by Bruno Liljefors (1860-1939). Oil on canvas. 20.4 x 27.5 inches. 1891. Public domain.