Joanna Penn Cooper
dancing girl press, 2010
Joanna Penn Cooper earned an MFA from New England College and a Ph.D. from Temple University, and she currently lives in New York City, where she is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Fordham University. She is working on her first full-length book of poems and short prose pieces, How We Were Strangers.
See That Bird
Believe me or don’t, I’ve been a hoarder of private glees. Have forgotten
my givens, the muck of my beginnings. Thought on those other
beginnings. How string-haired teenagers stood around my crib
harmonizing Neil Young. I’m not even kidding. There is that
in my species—an algebra of voice and floating particles. Sly jokes.
Feet out the car window. Minor key susurrations.
What if you saw me standing in the kitchen staring at an avocado pit
in wonder and plain looking? How my Ezekiel bread and vegetables felt so blessed
I wanted to kiss them before I took them into me
and chewed. Well, ok. We have our ecstatic songsters.
We have our quiet wonderers. But see that bird out your window,
how small and impertinent and there for a season, screaming
its little head off out its beak? That’s kind of me.