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Best Poems Written by Nicole Perkins

Below are the all-time best Nicole Perkins poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Twenty-Four Miles on a Rainy Morning

I began a poem this morning
driving in the rain.
I turned the radio off,
not interested in voices.
I repeated the lines to myself,
but I was driving
and it slipped away in curious, strange whispers.

I wanted to tell of the sound
the tires made on the wet road, 
the tapping patter of the rain on the roof,
the thousand drops 
scattered on the windshield
like seeds on a strawberry.
Cows stood in a field, 
patient under their wet hides.

I was driving,
fifteen miles behind me,
nine ahead, 
so I couldn't write how the low gray clouds
curved around the mountains
like the hand of an all-mighty being,
or how the leafless birches
glowed
against their somber cousins the pines.

Slowing, cruising down Exit 1,
downtown Brattleboro teeming with traffic
even at this early hour.
I wonder if other drivers
turned off the radio,
listened to the hushing slur of tires on the wet road
and tapped the rain's rhythm
against the steering wheel.

Driving past the hospital, 
past the Meadows,
stippled and gray, 
still but for the pattern of the rain on the surface.
Park the car, climb the stairs
listening to a quiet concert of birdsong
and rain on last year's fallen leaves
regretting that the drive is over
and the workday begun.


Copyright © Nicole Perkins | Year Posted 2019



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A Requiem for the Dovekeepers

A Requiem for the Dovekeepers

We went walking through the orchard, toward terraces where ancient olive trees and huge, twisted grapevines grew.
The birds were cooing. I felt a pulse in my throat, remembering how I had waited for my prey in the wilderness, how they had come to me and how I had destroyed them.
He vowed that the color of my hair was shared by all the most beautiful women in his land and, he added slyly, in mine.
I recognized Ashtoreth, the mother and warrior, whose presence has been long outlawed.
Chayei ‘olam le-‘olam. Eternal life, forever.
Sometimes people imagine I am crying, they believe they’ve spied a tear, but they’re wrong.
I now understood it was our duty as human beings to see behind the veil to the inside of the world, to the heart of things.
I wished to be forgiven.


(Lines taken from The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman,
Pages 83; 92; 130; 157; 220; 242; 289; 377)

Copyright © Nicole Perkins | Year Posted 2019

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Cosmos

A small blue world
		sits in my palm,
		perfect.
		I don’t know why,
		but I am sad.
		It marked me
		somehow,
		that small world,
		seeded with hopes of
		future worlds
		and new cycles
		of life.

Copyright © Nicole Perkins | Year Posted 2019

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She Knows

The touch of silver, cold, uninvited 
marked a circle of blame on her glass skin.
Her happiness is a song, regal in locked throats.

Peace tries to heal hatred’s reign
but cemeteries continue to grow, curving
around thousand-year-old pines jeweled in amber tears.
Hope warrants less and less in centuries of pain 
as we are taken on a chase, as we are taken in…

Her open hands trace ideas of law  
across icy flesh—the dead tell no more tales, 
not even to her.

Locked in the last keep, 
(for her safety, they tell her)
she sings a song
of unforgivable love and unlearned fidelity.

Next time 
(she knows this, but won’t say it, because that would be wrong)
the war may not end. 

Copyright © Nicole Perkins | Year Posted 2019

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Elegy on Rt 9

Proteus beneath our wheels,
shapeshifting God of the Underworld hungers,
longing for music as laughter,
stars that sparkle in young eyes.
He takes what Hebe gifts, 
lacking such grace Himself.
Wheels pass:
Proteus sleeps, 
sated until the next passing,
waking with a song to feed again.

Copyright © Nicole Perkins | Year Posted 2019



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Home Cooking

Who will remain
		standing  
		in the end?
		A chicken is cooking;
		on my counter,
	        oranges, onions.
		Can they smell it
		time zones away
		where cars explode and
		children die?

Copyright © Nicole Perkins | Year Posted 2019