(Poem) The Ballad of Cantalily by Robin Scofield

White terns cross the cobalt mountains

turned fire in the river.

My name is Riddle speaker,

the taste of wings rising.

The reflection tastes like mercury,

but my teeth are sweet.

With faces like catchers’ mitts,

the old crones look twice.

In my hands I find birds to carry

the seed for winter wheat.

My name is what the sandpiper

says to the river.

The wolf moon lights my name,

not a snake on the path.

My name is not Golondrina,

not full throttle at dawn.

My name is not Zopilote,

yet I eat the dead.

My name is not snow goose

yet I am invisible.

My name stops before limestone

slabs in Smuggler’s gap.

My name is a train whistle

the gates coming down.


Robin Scofield is the author of And the Ass Saw the Angel and Sunflower Cantos from Mouthfeel Press.  She has poems appearing or forthcoming in PilgrimageCedilla SixInterstice, and Mezcla II.  She is a poetry editor for BorderSenses who lives in El Paso and writes regularly with the Tumblewords Project.

“The Ballad of Cantalily” is included in Sunflower Cantos, published by Mouthfeel Press in August of 2012.  In the book, Scofield creates her own cosmology, set forth through the mouth of the trickster goddess, Cantalily.  Cantalily is a liminal figure both very much of the present as well as of the time before time.


Leave a Response

Be the First to Respond!

Notify of