North Lawson – Poem by Elizabeth Stanfield

Henry Herbert La Thangue – A Lingurian Shepherdess

Poetry by Elizabeth Stanfield

For Dad

In the backyard, there’s a Willow that droops and
drags her fingers through the thin silt at the river’s edge.
In autumn, she lets fall her velvet robe of leaves

and drops the petals one by one into the current.
It is on these mornings after a rain,
when the long, straight river rises up to greet

the mossy bases of the trees

and the Willow dances tenderly in the wind
and a mist collects behind the storm windows,
that I long to be as graceful as the Earth.

I want to be baptized in this same silk ribbon
that the Willow sheds and bears again in spring.
The word is more beautiful said in other ways.

La madrugada. El nacimiento. The dawn, the birth.

A Spiderweb of gold unfurls itself against my bedroom wall,
from the fetal position to sitting upright to standing
to stretching her arms above her head and whistling.

Here, she learns to pull her shoulders back and belong.
When in doubt, the answer is that she and I are deserving
of this. The world owes us such small luxuries.

I imagine those Willow fingers

entangling in the Web as they waltz,
flirting with bare feet and blush tiled floors.
They hesitate to reach the third downbeat. They may.

We are all summer cats in this home.
We are here to rest in a puddle of sunlight,

bellies yawning up to the sky.

We have so much time to spare.

About the Poet

Elizabeth Stanfield is an eighteen-year-old emerging writer from central Wisconsin. Her works are heavily influenced by her Midwestern upbringing and early modern British literature. When she isn’t writing, she can be found reading Julio Cortázar, watching Premier League soccer or persecuting the Oxford comma. She has work forthcoming in Canvas Literary Journal.

4 thoughts

  1. I am so glad to see that you have another poem by Elizabeth on here. She is a brilliant young poet

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