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  • Wolf and Crow
  • Lucien Darjeun Meadows (bio)

Coal on Father's bodygreys his black hair,burrows into the crevices of his facehigh-cheekboned, like my Alisi,his mother, meadow child hiding in the hills,devastated coal mountains of Appalachia

Coal Father, combustible man,the distance I delve to finda smile:on his shoulders, dustweight like the blacknessfound in the depthswhere light and air bowto the absolute powerof darknessand the constant threat of collapse

Coal eyes, Father's eyes, and the lightreflected in parabolas on darkhair of his forearmssingsand light moves overthe topography of Father's body,narrow-hipped, straight-shouldered,face never betrayingwhat is seen in the mines:

and I watch him move through the houselike a caged animal, a wolfconfined [End Page 92] as I sit, dark wings folded,clipped by the impossibility of flightwhen I dream of skyand mining the quilted mountainsof cloudseven though Fatherhas given up dreaming,that old lottery ticket,in favour of what is known:

heat of the earth in winter,fire in her belly:fleeting feeling of flightas we race across the meadow,his hair tied back, feet drumming the land,my wings spread, keeping time:the way the fields always returnto life after the last frost:

everlasting immanence of intact mountainsarcing across the sky, leading him homefrom the mines:

transcendent momentwhen winter blade of sunlight cutshis coal tether—

the meadow opens before uswolf and crowand for a moment, radiant suspension,the steaming ground is afireand we rush into sunrise flood of light,drinking the wind,becomingripples of smoke on snow. [End Page 93]

Lucien Darjeun Meadows

Lucien Darjeun Meadows grew up in Monongalia County, West Virginia, the son of a coal miner. He became the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college and now works at the Harford Community College Library in Bel Air, Maryland, while creating a manuscript of poems that explore working-class, Native American, transgender identity.



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pp. 92-93
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