Homage, Orby Head
by Susan Edwards Richmond
When I can go no farther, and the maps are all
blue, I count the birds at the end of the world:
swooped down from their russet watch-towers, long,
low lines of silhouette stoop to the waves,
piebald buoys bob in the lea of rocks,
plump-bellied gourds with red waders on troll
the bricky stone. Arms clasp over pulled up
knees, salted by the wet perimeter
of light. Gathering in the past, shapes stream by,
great auk, Labrador duck, and Eskimo
curlew in venerated waves, all plucked,
bloodied, and damned. Shingles crack in the tide’s
ruddy contusions. We have everything
to lose, and have again and again.
after Seamus Heaney
“Homage, Orby Head” appears in Susan Edwards Richmond’s new book, Before We Were Birds, published by Adastra Press.
Susan will be reading from Before We Were Birds at the 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street, Maynard, on Thursday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. Come early and enjoy Gail Erwin’s show, Niche, Cyanotypes and Constructions, in the gallery, as well as the work of Jane McKinnon Johnstone. Hope to see you there!