Pick-a-Poem: “Revision”


Welcome, folks, to another installment of our weekly “Pick-a-Poem” feature. Each week, we feature a new poem that is hopefully new to you, and which might inspire you to find more new poetry. These poems all come from Poetry Daily, which is a great website that features a new poem from a new poet every day. If you’re looking for some new poetry to discover, be sure to check them out! This week we’re featuring Revision by Danielle Cadena Deulen.

According to her bio page, Danielle Cadena Deulen has had several books published, including Lovely Asunder, a collection of poetry released in 2011, and The Riots, a memoir published in the same year. Her poetry collection won the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize. Her memoir won the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She has received a Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellowship, and she currently teaches in the English Department of Willamette University in Oregon.

Revision by Danielle Cadena Deulen

If I could reverse it and reassemble
the cracked bodies of the crabs—their shells
no longer a lovely, silent red—restore
their frantic language of clicks and gestures
within the vast white chamber of the cooler,

sea stink settling into the fine filaments
fringing their legs, until we reach the bay
alive with dusk, the weather-worn pines
standing sentry along the shoreline, seals
with their wet-wide eyes emerging

from the currents, then submerging—
and if the tide would agree to repeat
its ebb, the sky to draw back the sun
through its arc while we all climb
again into the boat, whirl against

our wake to where we left the traps
and place each glimmering, purple crab
within the wire nets to lower them
gently into the brine, growing darker,
heavier around them until the nets nudge

their murky bed, spread wide to let them
scuttle out—if our father would steer a path
toward the harbor, let go of the throttle
so that we drift in silence until, hours
earlier, the pier appears, the morning inlet

circled by sea grass, pointed hills, the shack
where we rented our boat smelling of rinsed fish
and clay, the rough old man looking at us
like he knows as he cracks sunflower seeds
in his teeth and hands our father his change—

then I don’t have to write about what
came after. We can all live here, in this day,
forward and backward, listening to
the cold-blue sea rock softly against
our metal hull, watch the gray world slowly

take on color, shadows separating
from form, the tide rushing in,
our father’s real smile like a white magnolia
opening over us as we cross the bight
vibrating with light so brilliant
I have to close my eyes against it.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poem! For more posts like this, click here.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


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