Small Congregations: New and Selected Poems

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880013635
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Thylias Moss is a professor of English at the University of Michigan. The author of six volumes of poetry and two children's books, her work has also appeared in many journals and in four editions of Best American Poetry. She has won numerous honors, grants and awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband and two sons.

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Read an Excerpt

Washing Bread

In the river a woman washes
big white slices of bread
like shirts.

When she wrings them
milky water runs from wrists to elbows
and she remembers the loaf bloating
with starvation.

When she lays the bread on nearby rocks
she is a nurse swabbing fever.
It dries and gets dirty again.
Her children eat
pieces of their crosses.

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Table of Contents

Washing Bread 3
Fullness 4
One Year Sonny Stabs Himself 5
All Is Not Lost When Dreams Are 6
Fisher Street 7
Water Road 9
One-eyed Mother Selling Mangoes 11
The Blue Territory of Sissies 12
Gossamer and Thinner 15
Games 17
Maudell's Moon 20
Living Under a Man on the Moon 21
The Warmth of Hot Chocolate 23
The Adversary 25
A Form of Deicide 27
Renegade Angels 29
Old Maids Weaving Baskets 31
The Eclipse and the Holy Man 33
Alternatives for a Celibate Daughter 34
The Owl in Daytime 35
It Rides on Tadpoles 36
The Undertaker's Daughter Makes Bread 38
The Undertaker's Daughter Feels Neglect 39
Passover Poem 40
Doubts During Catastrophe 41
Small Congregations 43
When I Was 'Bout Ten We Didn't Play Baseball 45
Poem for My Mothers and Other Makers of Asafetida 47
Remembering Kitchens 49
Raising a Humid Flag 51
Running Out of Choices 55
Timex Remembered 58
For Those Who Can't Peel the Potatoes Close Enough 60
Approaching Venus's-flytrap During a Hungarian Film: A Subtitle 63
The Manna Addicts 65
Toy Stove 67
Nigger for the First Time 69
The Best of the Body 71
Cha-cha Pickle 73
Dear Charles 75
Beanstalk Dreams 77
The Sugar Slave 79
Spilled Sugar 81
The Party to Which Wolves Are Invited 82
The Wonder 84
The Wake for the Lost Two Hundred Miles 85
Death of the Sweet World 87
Holding 89
The Linoleum Rhumba 90
Rush Hour 93
One-Legged Cook 94
This Magician 95
The Eyelid's Struggle 97
She Did My Hair Outside, the Wash a Tent Around Us 99
She's Florida Missouri but She Was Born in Valhermosa and Lives in Ohio 100
Birmingham Brown's Turn 103
A Little Something for Buckwheat and Other Pickaninnies 108
The Lynching 109
Lunchcounter Freedom 111
The Day Before Kindergarten: Taluca, Alabama, 1959 112
The Root of the Road 115
Interpretation of a Poem by Frost 116
November and Aunt Jemima 117
A Reconsideration of the Blackbird 119
Tribute to Jesse and Then Some 121
Redbones as Nothing Special 123
Five Miracles 124
A Godiva 126
From the Bride's Journal 128
Denial 130
St. Alexis Hospital: Visiting Hour 131
A Child's Been Dead a Week 132
The Harridan 133
Landscape with Saxophonist 134
Scene from The Spirit of the Beehive, a Spanish Film 135
Spring Cleaning at the Lewiston Police Station 137
The Nature of Morning 138
The Wreckage on the Wall of Eggs 139
Sunrise Comes to Second Avenue 140
Afternoon Nap 141
An Anointing 142
The Rapture of Dry Ice Burning Off Skin as the Moment of the Soul's Apotheosis 144
Mai Pen Rai 146
A Catcher for an Atomic Bouquet 147
Goodness and the Salt of the Earth 149
Almost an Ode to the West Indian Manatee 150
There Will Be Animals 151
Miss Liberty Loses Pageant 153
Green Light and Gamma Ways 155
One for All Newborns 156
Acknowledgments 157
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