Libby Sommer: ‘Bewildered’, ‘Crows Never Forget’ and ‘What Could We Say?’


When I was four
I asked my big brother
Is mum the wicked
queen from Snow White?

He fell about with laughter,
then wrestled me to the ground
using his knees to pin
my shoulders to the floor.

My brother, the bully.
But I loved him.

Years later, when our mother said she
had heart problems, my brother told her
it was impossible.
How can you? he said.
You don’t have a heart.

The questions still disturb me to this day.

Libby Sommer


Crows Never Forget

can we remember like they do
through long rain-drenched months
with their clever chat?
one warns the others a human who scared them
years ago but the crows when the sky cleared
cried out loud and raucous
near the top-floor balcony
trellised with spring buds
crow-speech channelling new connections into
the sides of my head

Libby Sommer


What Could We Say?

Before dawn’s soft lightening,
rain stills itself on flat roofs
in pools of stagnant water.

Each morning we hear
a car speed up the hill
and dark recurring dreams
which tossed and turned
our restless selves, leave us
twisted in the sheets.

Now we start
warming rooms,
opening blinds.

Into the silence,
tight with the unspoken,
our thoughts pokerfaced
—space enough not given or seized—

moments hang,
more half-empty
than half-full.

Libby Sommer





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