Some poets laureate take their jobs pretty seriously—see themselves as providing for the bigger good of connecting the works with the public. Marcia Brown, Portland, Maine’s most recent, is one of those. As a result of her vision, the sweet 80-plus page collection Port City Poems was published. I’m grateful to have been included in the collection and to have read with some of the writers around the state.

 

PUTTING OUT

She puts out a hummingbird feeder,
plastic and red, scarlet-high, up
outside her sixth floor window,
floating, wired on a suction cup
over streets filled with people
and cars and half-filled
trashcans.

But what she gets are crows.
Three scruffy crows of dull black wings
on the granite ledge below.
She calls them ravens,
peels
pink-tinged transparent wrap from
a lump of bread, three
raisins, a cube of cheese she
slivers.

The tip of a wing
shushes against the pane, delicate
and wild. An abandonment to desire.
No complaints.
No whining.
It beats into the air.
Angles,
folds against its body,
settles.

She leans her rouged cheek
into the glass,
her fragile capillaries
anticipating the return
of the heat that is
family.

 

—Annaliese Jakimides

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