Poems by Rachael Ikins

Crow On A Fence, Farm, Corvid

Under Cover of Darkness

A crow
flying under cover
of darkness, south wind.
Blue satin memories of you.

Whispers in the window
of the room
where I sleep.
My eyes open.
Not trying to remember nor
wanting to forget;
you are just

here. My desire to speak
claws my throat,
need-sweat leaks
from every pore. Wide awake,
no dream. Another night
numb with wanting
A Marination of my Brain/Adverse Reaction/Side Effects

empty head.
voices calling,
entreating life-or-death

traffic sounds and clock-
ticks, my throat sticks

I am so tired
There is no synapse strong
(long) enough to bridge
the void from my ears
to my tongue.

I cannot speak: in a haze
of lazy desperation
my eyes roll sideways
my ears lean toward nonsense

I drift slowly.
Away, receding, diminishing
in a cloud the sound of bitter
car exhaust
Even as we watch
me swallow.

Counting the Days

I collected first fallen red leaves
for my mother when she was in rehab. Married three times, always to an alcoholic, it wasn't until her doctor staged an intervention that she admitted she was.  Too late, Pancreatic cancer spread to her liver.

Early fallen red leaves, like these,
and her blood on pavement, after all the cocktail hours her last husband, who was blind, knocked her down. Why was she always the one who lost months in rehabs for broken bones, never him?

These first fallen red leaves under a sugar maple near my house, an alien friend, whose bark I touch every time we pass, whisper.
How my mother would've lived later years if she hadn't married every man she dated.

My  uncle says she was afraid to be alone. After her second husband died, she found temporary balance, worked at a small-town library, walked to work with a bag lunch, relishing the embrace, fragrance of books and independence.

These fallen red leaves, pages of the year 2020's story, a year she never saw; when a plague struck, Black men and women were murdered, uprisings, peaceful protests in the streets of cities a president will try to punish by cheating, the election year two civil rights icons died. Our democracy may follow: a dusty grave pounded by boots of maskless masses who follow a madman desperate to stay out of prison.

Sun crisps leaves.
They flutter away on drought winds, worried at possibility - smouldering cigarette tossed from a car window. My mother, five years gone at ninety, needs no protection from the present. She quit smoking when she was 65.

My Mother's Bones

Her skull a restless ache
beneath my skin, my lips and tension hers.

My feet emerge
onto my grandmother's path. Calloused,
purplish spiders spinning
aged silk, weave a story of
a life lived.

My mother's hands float beneath
my fingers, that deformed right thumbnail,
while left pinky quirks for my dad.

How is it my ancestors rise?
So soon? Night falls
So soon? Dawn blinked
luscious lashes
minutes ago.

Bio: Rachael Ikins is a 2016/18 Pushcart, 2013/18 CNY Book Award, 2018 Independent Book Award winner, & 2019/2020 Vinnie Ream & Faulkner poetry finalist.  She is a Syracuse University graduate and author/illustrator of nine books in multiple genres. Her writing and artwork have appeared in journals world wide from India, UK, Japan, Canada and US. Born in the Fingerlakes she lives by a river with her dogs, cats, salt water fish, a garden that feeds her through winter and riotous houseplants with a room of their own. Frogs found their way to her fountain. Dragons fly by.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Rachael Ikins 

An elegy from “The Woman With Three Elbows” coming soon from Rachael Ikins

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: