Foreword Reviews


Lisa Bickmore teaches creative writing and composition to fortunate students at Salt Lake Community College. Her poetry has appeared in numerous respected journals over the years, and she was recently awarded ten thousand euros for winning the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize. flicker shows a confident, seasoned hand.

Self-Portrait as Half of Herself

Mother finding the daughter now mute
in the late summer ripeness of nameless plums;
in the way the grapes fall into hand,
all their sugar heavy and blooming
on the dusky skins; in the wine-odor
of falling petals from spent roses;
in the shimmer of gnats low on the lawn
cool over applefall: at the early hour,

easier to ignore her
plangent face, the brow of her turning
away, because I was listening
so intently for the soft dirt broken
by the insistent, whispering leaves
of plain beans, but she is there—there is no doubt
—she grieves that mother who helplessly
let her go, let her sow herself
into the ground as common seed,
as any ordinary pathos,
so unremarkable that it has been flayed
of its proper salt.

I have dreamed her
the brave girl heroine of a horror film,
but softer, her start as I wake
not of terror but sorrow, the sorrow
hinted at in our life within time,
when I go out before the light has broken
through the trees, into a garden full of seed,
turned dirt, absent the weeds, absent yet
the luxurious weeds, and as if the air
were holding its breath—

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Load Next Review