Maggie Kelley

This poem by Maggie Kelley reflects her feelings about driving away from Tulsa, her childhood hometown, and her relatives there, and returning to her home and immediate family in Ohio:

                THE FINGERS OF MY EYES

The Fingers of my Eyes
        Reach out to tremble feathers of grass at road's edge
                Reach out to travel tree-lined horizons
                       Reach out to trace white wisps of sky-breath.

The Fingers of my Eyes
       Reach back to touch the faces of those I love,
               Of those I left behind.

        Reach back,
                Stretch back
                        Five hundred miles,
                                Five hundred miles.

                                        —Maggie Kelley

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When Maggie Kelley sent this poem to me, she included this comment: "Our family is constantly undergoing changes—its like some larger organic form whose configuration has shifting edges—not always easy accept the new shape—the only way I can seem to deal with the pain of it is to try and make some kind of art."

A sweet night air
from high hill wood
rolls, spills softly
down fills meadow
with first spring cool
cool breath brushing, gliding
gathering whispers
of violets
and trillium
with old brown leaves
brown leaves rotting, melting
cradle-ing essence
of purpleness
and yellowness
with first spring cool
cool breath braiding, twisting
quickening pieces
of promises
and yesterday
with first spring cool
         —Maggie Kelley, April 1997

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