Caroline Goodwin


The poem “Kluane”  paints as a beautiful picture of the lake as the photograph itself.  It captures the sense of majestic and serenity.

the tundra  
	the mudbank
the kestrels
	in pairs    

where your face
	blue cup
and the roar   
	of the river   

of the mother   
	there is nothing   
in the white sky   
	in my heart

in the marsh
	a million willows
and a jumble of legs
	a jumble of wings 

the owl tree 
	the mask
held out like
	an offering

cupped at the throat
	at the moment
of joining and of barbs
	of light in the kitchen

in the pink light winter
	light orange
light (sight)
	cell and moon
and the isotope
	the signature

gray egg
	the least 

	mossy nest
pulsing soft
	blue skin

and a yellow
bark and stone
	mew gull

eye   warped
	and warmed
the arctic tern
	the tufts of 

	the infant

Poet’s note on the poem series, “Hearts” and “Diablo”: “I wanted, through sound and imagery, to portray some of the complexities of raising daughters in the patriarchy. I also wanted to think about how we are connected to animals and plants (being animals ourselves, after all). I hoped to explore ideas of inheritance and how hard it can be for women to speak their truth, if our mothers and grandmothers have also been harmed or silenced. Sometimes it feels like you’ll simply die if you say what you see and what you mean, but you keep doing it anyway.”

daughter, i carve the bear into your kneecap
	and i hold the copper spoon to your mouth
and i collect your shell-teeth and stand
	guard at your lungs in
this birdcloud where the deer come down

to drink and i wash out the bowl for their breathing
	their dew claws and hooves   their eyes
this dark brown  this fat  this medicine  this
	long thin cry

cry: the animal stands at the creekside
	the animal shakes itself and light
springs out and laughter, and daughter, i draw
	in the dust around the stone, around
the greenish glow where every face and every farce
	springs up quickly in the puzzlegrass:

here, take
here, the

mask for sorrow
mask for fear
mask for joy
mask for pain
mask for anger
mask for touch and voice 


out of the gravel pit out of the mouth
	daughter, my violets and fiddle
my board full of nails and rust, i trust
	this open sky this clef note
silver breath   of winter   of daughter

growing thin on the knoll  
	on the savage phrase and
cradle song   into the fracture  into the root
	into the blood-blue horizon
the woodwinds the dry leaves scattering

daughter, this flute and guitar, my
	new motherhands at the back
at the stroking and holding (my fingertwigs)
	your softspot your gurgling
milktooth my mold entire

daughter, i offer all my blue smoke to the inlet
	to every morning that comes and goes,
slick as eels, and i love the blue smoke and i
	grow the thyme and lobelia, water
the window garden, hold a tiny mirror to the seeds

to the light in my pupils to light in my pupils
	hurrying along the waterway   the seiners
opening their nets and i want you to hear the rush
	the gorgeous sound of the fish    of the smoke
here moving over the surface, collecting, layer

layering the waterline, the soil surface, the inlet, every
	window facing west, every seedling, every moment
of joining and of growth, of all the sunlight moving
	to the south, capture, release, blue 
	smoke in the shape of lungs, net
and vessel, daughter, turning in the soil 
	burrowing in


	catface and sunflower,
lavender and mint, seedlings
	sending out root 
hairs and the roar of the trash
	man in the street taking
away my leftovers, all the little things
	you brought me over the years:
stone turtle, tiny jar of beach glass, 
	tiny cedar canoe, blue necklace,
bluish scarf, the grass basket painted
	red for the wedding
seeds -- i turn my face into the 
warm wind
	and i turn my face and i turn
my face (this is a warm dry wind--
	a northeasterly) and

when you see 
me turn my face
like this, believe
	me i am
	opening my mouth 


gathered at the river
red-headed woman
hands in the birches
black bark and alder

torn fishes torn in
the river and the gulls
the ivory gulls 
(The Lord)

is my savior is

thimble and lichen and
the sharpest branch

the sharpest cry 


sour water

atomizer, tube

and a single jar
over the kitchen


and when you see me turn
	my face like this, washed
	there, the silver bowl
the bead eye

the hummingbird
	and crow, there
the large paper hive the rare bees
	and a riverbank and a petal
(awful yellow) -- blanket
	woven on the old loom

the bits and the bytes and
	if you can see me turn
my face like this (hair blown
into my mouth) i am
	all of it
to the wind

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