NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD

Ruth Thompson


Lunar Eclipse, June 2012



Floats across my inner light

a string of clotted shadows—

dredged up, exposed, released,

again dredged up, from farther

and farther


inland until the rock itself

cracks, the mineral self

exposed: the way a river

I used to know

had to be dredged

each year, again and again—


raw cut-throat

gravel, ancient footprints,

fossil tribolytes,

sludge, scat, fool’s gold.


Downstream are wide

bays of light,

broad reaches shining.


Now let all the unforgiven selves

one by one appear

in their striped prison clothes—

bring them to the river

and wash them, wash them clean.



Ruth Thompson recent book of poetry, in a new and revised edition, is Woman with Crows. Among her honors are the New Millennium Writings Poetry Award and the Harpur Palate Milton Kessler Memorial Award. Her chapbook, Here Along Cazenovia Creek, was the basis for a poetry and dance collaboration with the Japanese dancer Shizuno Nasu. Ruth Thompson lives in Hilo, Hawaii.

Ruth Thompson reads with Don Mitchell for Books on Stage in Cloverdale, California, on November 6, 2014, and with Tania Pryputniewicz and Michelle Wing in the Poetry Flash reading series at Moe’s Books in Berkeley, California, on November 11, 2014.


— posted October 2014
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