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August 3, 2007

Sample Poetry

Poem is copyright of Emily K. Bright.

Morning of the Funeral

Sanibel Island, Florida

After all this, there is sun.
Sun and utter stillness
in the mangroves.

Here, five years ago, in rented canoes,
we brought her on her last
outdoor adventure.

How can it look the same as then?
Humid, tangled roots,
acres of connecting branches.

David with the guidebook spots
gray bird after large, gray bird.
How selfish to be hot or tired now.

These past five years,
her back, her fingers curved
in on themselves.

When she still could lift herself
in and out of boats, did she skim
palms to water as we moved?

All I can remember
is the dip and rise of paddles,
the aisles forming in the roots.

A pelican swoops down
and surfaces with
water streaming.

All day he will fish and look,
after we have sung our hymns,
after we have dragged our boats ashore.

About the Author

Emily K. Bright has lived in France and Ghana, New England and the Midwest. She is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at the University of Minnesota. She also teaches orientation classes to refugees when they first arrive in Minnesota, a role which continually challenges her to reexamine American culture and put it into words. This year, she is also working as the creative writing department's Scribe for Human Rights, researching and writing what will hopefully be fascinating articles on local activism surrounding the violence in Darfur. Her passion is inviting people to stop, look at the world around them, and talk to each other, recognizing that we have more in common than we thought. Poetry is one excellent way of doing this.