The owl was a baker’s daughter
If earth is oven enough for my father’s body, I won’t eat a cake that flies.
No, no, no—but night hears Who? as a question and cherry pies come
out feathered in silvers, golds. Brown at the throat where words turned
to molten syrup under crust—whose edges? Who? Where do we end? Ah,
stir us with no spoon but a knife, dirt is all our company. Would I were
the moon. Misted over and round as a chipped china plate. It’s late to
dine but too early for worms, so let me shine eerily upon you. I’ll enter
the hall quietly slippered, my body gossamered white.
This selection comes from the poetry book, available from University Press of Colorado. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.
Gillian Cummings is the author of The Owl was a Baker’s Daughter, selected by John Yau as the winner of the 2018 Colorado Prize for Poetry (The Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, 2018) and My Dim Aviary, winner of the 2015 Hudson Prize (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). She has also written three chapbooks: Ophelia (dancing girl press, 2016), Petals as an Offering in Darkness (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and Spirits of the Humid Cloud (dancing girl press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Boulevard, The Cincinnati Review, The Colorado Review, The Crab Orchard Review, The Cream City Review, Denver Quarterly, The Journal, The Laurel Review, Linebreak, The Massachusetts Review, The New Orleans Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, in other journals and in two anthologies. In 2008, she was awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund Poetry Prize. A graduate of Stony Brook University (BA, English) and of Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA program, Gillian lives in Westchester County, New York, where for five years she taught poetry workshops to women at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She is currently at work on a novel and a third collection of poetry. She also draws botanical still lifes and occasional other subjects, and is currently seeking out professional training in the visual arts.
Nilsa Rivera writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications. Nilsa’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Selkie Literary Magazine. She lives in Riverview, Florida with her husband, son, and other multi-species family members.