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Parasol, and: The Madwoman's Daughter
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You could still become a queen.
When, a slip of a girl,

you directed trees
to lower their limbs,

neither fire ants nor sap
could stop your climb,

nor rain that lightly fell,
misting leaves.

Inside a story's spell,
you find your way back,

where a stone on a path waits
for you to stumble.

Like the kaleidoscope's contents,
time is jumbled, opening at will.

Now: a too-bright sun and you,
teetering on a wall,

parasol clutched tight as you tumble.
This parasol is, for a moment,

everything you've lost
and all that can console.

The Madwoman's Daughter

All my life, I have been pursued
by whispers—what pickney so greedy
it consume its own muma?

I was born at the time of day between
night and morning, the hour
of duppies and dream.

My mother's screams seamed
the world I left and the one I entered,
her spirit extinguished

the instant mine lit.
Before language possessed me,
I knew my life would be marked

by her sorrow, pressed into my skin;
by her laughter, broken stones
that fill my mouth.

Now when wind gathers at the edges
of dawn, I listen for my mother's wail
rattling through the cane.

I listen to recall:
no one asks for the meal
that leaves us hungry.

Yet we eat.

Shara McCallum  

Shara McCallum, originally from Jamaica, lives with her family in Pennsylvania, where she is director of the Stadler Center for Poetry and a professor of English at Bucknell University. She is the author of four books of poetry, including The Face of Water: New and Selected Poems and This Strange Land and has received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship.

Copyright © 2013 Louisiana State University Press
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Shara McCallum. "Parasol, and: The Madwoman's Daughter." Southern Review 49.3 (2013): 409-410. Project MUSE. Web. 18 Jul. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
McCallum, S.(2013). Parasol, and: The Madwoman's Daughter. Southern Review 49(3), 409-410. Louisiana State University Press. Retrieved July 18, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Shara McCallum. "Parasol, and: The Madwoman's Daughter." Southern Review 49, no. 3 (2013): 409-410. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 18, 2013).
T1 - Parasol, and: The Madwoman's Daughter
A1 - Shara McCallum
JF - Southern Review
VL - 49
IS - 3
SP - 409
EP - 410
PY - 2013
PB - Louisiana State University Press
SN - 2168-5541
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_review/v049/49.3.mccallum.html
N1 - Volume 49, Number 3, Summer 2013
ER -


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