English poetry

Poems in English

Smoke

Smoke

Smoke, it is all smoke
In the throat of eternity. . . .
For centuries, the air was full of witches
Whistling up chimneys
On their spiky brooms
Cackling or singing more sweetly than Circe,
As they flew over rooftops
Blessing & cursing their
Kind.

We banished & burned them
Making them smoke in the throat of god;
We declared ourselves
“enlightened.”
“The dark age of horrors is past,”
Said my mother to me in 1952,
Seven years after our people went up in smoke,
Leaving a few teeth, a pile of bones.

The smoke curls and beckons.
It is blue & lavender
& green as the undersea world.
It will take us, too.

O let us not go sheepishly
Clinging to our nakedness.
But let us go like witches sucked heavenward
By the Goddess’ powerful breath
& whistling, whistling, whistling
On our beautiful brooms.



Poem Smoke - Erica Jong