Kathryn Stripling Byer

(1944 / Camilla, Georgia)

Kathryn Stripling Byer Poems

1. Coastal Plain 9/7/2016
2. Mountain Time [excerpt] 9/7/2016
3. I still can't get it right 9/7/2016
4. Vanity 1/20/2003
5. Wildwood Flower 1/20/2003
6. Diamonds 1/20/2003
Best Poem of Kathryn Stripling Byer

Diamonds

This, he said, giving the hickory leaf
to me. Because I am poor.
And he lifted my hand to his lips,
kissed the fingers that might have worn
gold rings if he had inherited

bottomland, not this
impossible rock where the eagles soared
after the long rains were over. He stood
in the wet grass, his open hands empty,
his pockets turned inside out.

Queen of the Meadow, he teased me
and bowed like a gentleman.
I licked the diamonds off the green
tongue of the leaf, wanting only
that he fill his hands with my hair.

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