I started out in western Pennsylvania hills
My whole life has been ripe with wild fruit.
Near the Ocean’s Edge
The bus that took my mother to Atlantic City in 1945 was a Greyhound.
She traveled alone, a tiny solitary thing.
Seeing the ocean for the first time she wept.
she thought them shells. Packed her suitcase full of them,
The stench so strong it dizzies her still.
My Father’s Remains
The moment he died,
The faint and lingering scent
His wallet was frayed,
We opened that wallet
It unfurled easily and we
in his small sock drawer,
render me yellow
a little while longer
bedside coast through sea window
render me open
scent my bedclothes with pollen
in cupped water linger
dusting May with your flavor
render me axis
stolen stalk of Prometheus
wand of forethought
weed-stem of longing
render me umbel
After Singing Midnight Mass
The rest have gone ahead.
In these short hours
Cold air breathes all around.
the corner to North Avenue
Up and down the sleeping mile
filled with joyful noise, silent now.
humming on. Already Christmas
Ground known so well.
the tree trimmed before church
by one. Gliding on. Hands
|Tess Barry was shortlisted for the 2015 Manchester Poetry Prize (UK). Twice a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and Aesthetica Magazine’s (UK) Poetry Award, she also was shortlisted for the 2014 Bridport Poetry Prize (UK). Most recently, her poems appeared in or are forthcoming in And Other Poems (UK), The Compass Magazine (UK), Cordite Poetry Review (Australia), Mslexia (UK), Mudfish, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Stinging Fly (Ireland), and The Woven Tale Press Literary and Fine Arts Magazine. Barry is a Fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project and teaches literature and creative writing at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. Website: Tess Barry
Wild Fennel and other poems are © Tess Barry
Wild Fennel, My Father’s Remains, Raspberries, Near the Ocean’s Edge, and After Singing Midnight Mass were shortlisted for the 2015 Manchester Poetry Prize and previously published on the Manchester Writing School’s website as part of the press release announcing the shortlisted poets.
Deciduous was a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and published in North American Review’s Spring 2014 issue.