Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American poet, is the author of three books: Injuring Eternity (World Nouveau), Woman on a Shaky Bridge (Finishing Line Press chapbook), and Only More So (forthcoming Salmon Press, Ireland 2012).She has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, among others. Her work has also received three Pushcart Prize nominations. Accardi’s poetry has appeared in over 50 publications, including Nimrod, Tampa Review, NewLetters and Wallace StevensJournal as well as in Boomer Girls (Iowa Press) and Chopin with Cherries (Moonrise Press) anthologies. Her theater and book reviews can be found in print and online at The Topanga Messenger. She received degrees in English and literature from CSULB, holds a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and works as a freelance writer (technical writing and instructional design). Past artist residencies include Yaddo, Jentel, Vermont Studio, Fundación Valparaíso in Mojacar, Milkwood in Cesky Krumlov and Disquiet in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Mourning Doves

Have such soulful
Eyes, their gray suit
Of feathers blurs and sinks
Them into the background
Like a creature in hiding
They hover below the wild
Bird feeder set up for finches
And harvest the shells, the thistle
Seed casings and what drops after
The finches and faux robins and phoebes
Have feasted. The mourning
Doves huddle and nest in the mountains
Of seed shells and dirt and make circles
With their small bird bodies turning
Into the ground digging a place around
Them as if they were under a shrub with only
The black drops of ink from their tail feathers
Visible. In a group, they lie in wait, their dear gray
Eyes gloomy and sullen and innocent and they want
What the world desires, to be fed and comfortable
And consummated and happy.

from Injuring Eternity


Swinging Open

                    For the yourngest son

How impossible at that age
to lather up and take an open blade

to my cheek. To match father’s
thumbs, cracking the rabbit’s yielded

neck. Surrounded by lemon trees,
one quick motion, releases. stories

told around the picnic table.
No Ellis Island. Rifles meant for culling

lizards and desert prairie dogs. The pull
of the gun bringing fear I could reach.

Grandfather hid in a ship’s barrel, accused
of murder in Petrepetzia. The unroofed patio

where uncle played mandolin
under plump summer evenings.

Adult faces shiny and red, full of warm
wine. The hutches waiting, covered.

Hot stew simmered in trust. Father’s cough,
temporary. How I miss the night drives

to fig trees. Back home, father sits, pushing
carrots around on a paper plate.

My own core small, warm, and safe,
beating rapidly. How delicious

the world was when grandmother shook
the linen table cloth into the wind.

appeared in International Poetry Review: Hispanic Edition

 


Millicent Borges Accardi

2011 Millicent Borges Accardi


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