Feathers of Disenchantment

Pastors preached of birds as models of love,
so sweet, so proper. Then parbleu, we heard
sad news about the cheating of the dove,
promiscuity of the humming-bird,
scandalous divorce among flamingos,
sparrows’ shacking in ménages à trois.
For swingers on the wing any fling goes,
the mallard’s passion’s fiery, ma foi,
but once the eggs are laid, it’s bye-bye honey.
The gander and his lady mate for life;
in geese we trust: they’re up to nothing funny,
each cleaves unto her husband (or her wife).
Pray paternity tests don’t make us lose
faith in the fidelity of the goose.


And They Call You Retarded

At six, you’re proud that soon you’ll learn to walk;
such pleasure has no bitter in its sweet,
it slips through this coarse net of human talk.
I arrive. With a coo of glee you greet
then drag yourself to me; you lift your arms
and lure me into your world of never never.
For you, a plastic toy holds endless charms,
this cup of warm milk will last forever,
and love will never cloy. You are not pained
when they say, Better he had not been born.
Like an egret that wades through mud unstained
you are untouched by pity or by scorn
because your soul is weightless as a bird’s,
as innocent of malice as of words.


Grey Angel

Silence is the angel of many masks:
the unwritten book, the dress never worn,
duty, propriety, the fear of scorn.
We worship him through all abandoned tasks,

the unwritten book, the dress never worn.
unkissed lips, the lover who never asks.
We worship him through all.  Abandoned tasks,
the unvisited grave, the child never born,

unkissed lips, the lover who never asks.
We are his every time we are forsworn,
his the unmarked grave, the child never born,
forgiveness withheld, the peace found in flasks.

We are his every time.  We are forsworn,
silence is the angel of many.  Masks:
forgiveness withheld, the peace found in flasks,
duty, propriety, the fear of scorn.


Enriqueta Carrington’s poetry in Spanish and English and her translations from the Spanish and Italian have appeared in The New Formalist, Descant (Canada), The Shit Creek Review, Lighten Up Online, and Contemporary Sonnet, among other journals. She has received the Atlanta Review’s International Merit Award and is the translator of several volumes of poetry, including “Treasury of Mexican Love Poems” (in the Hippocrene Treasury of Love series) and “Samandar: Libro de Viajes/Book of Travels,” by Lourdes Vázquez (Editorial Tsé-Tsé, Argentina).  She teaches mathematics at Rutgers University.

These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.


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One Response

  1. Sally Carter

    Fine poems every one, but I specially liked the middle one. Quite beautiful. And what an original simile, to liken the child to the bird elegantly stepping through mud. Great job!


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