February 2010

Richard Foerster


Richard Foerster is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Double Going (BOA, 2002), The Burning of Troy (BOA, 2006), and Penetralia (forthcoming). Since the 1970s his work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, and Poetry. For the last 25 years he has lived on the coast of Southern Maine.

Mourning Dove    

Zenaida macroura

We found it among the garden's other petty gods, fallen
to mischance, though a few hyacinths still loitered

along the walkway like a clutch of sagging teens,
but it would be stupid to say the cherry had wept,

though its petals lay all about like a debutante's pink
confetti on the lawn. And yet one could imagine tears

if we were to allow for feelings: the mate somewhere
in the green distance, its plaintive coos distinct

among the coital chatter. We found it minus the head,
among a circle of underfeathers, not like porcelain

shards, splintered—but soft, the after-evidence
of thrash and struggle, of something unrelenting,

the way a face leaches of color only after
the faintest drumming fades. The plump powder-

brown pouch of its body remained oddly
untouched, except where the nape had cowled

over the clotted stump and hornets had begun
to drone as if at the entrance to a fabled cave.

No mystery there, except to suppose the agent
of this extinction, to render it in the mind, lurking

unadorned in the bristling shade, intent on nothing
except to prove the honed perfection of itself.



Richard Foerster: Poetry
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