August 2000

Fleda Brown


Fleda Brown’s third collection of poems, The Devil’s Child, was published in 1999 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Her first book, Fishing With Blood (Purdue University Press, l988), won the Great Lake Colleges Association New Writer’s Award, and her second, Do Not Peel the Birches (Purdue University Press, l993), won the Verna Emery Prize. She is Professor of English at the University of Delaware, where she directs the Poets in the Schools program.
Passing Samantha Around   Click to hear in Real Audio

"How lovely," we say,
the Cesarean having left no marks,
no squeezed head. This
is the way to live, lifted calmly, if prematurely,
out of the primal soup, raised into
a soft breeze of bodies,
the colorless dreaming of language.

We hand her around,
her feet tiny clappers in the green velvet bell
of her Christmas suit. (Pink rosettes,
lace on the sleeves.)
Her fingernails and toenails scribble
in her sleep. She is weaving a web

between us, we’re all one to her,
a vibration with different depths
and temperatures. One after the other, we
take her up, the little tremble
of her legs—
the original mind polishing the edges
of its latest thought.

"So this is all there is to us,"
we say to ourselves, looking down,
relieved. In spite of
all the trouble we’ve gone to, inventing
ourselves, there is this that we can’t
let go of, can’t exchange.



Fleda Brown: Poetry
Copyright 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 12The Cortland Review