Recognizing the Angel (2020)
duration ca. 9:00
soprano voice and alto flute
poem from Recognizing the Angel by Mary Ann Coleman
used with permission of the estate of Mary Ann Coleman
originally published by the Press of the Night Owl, Athens, GA
April: Recognizing the Angel
The sharpness I note in others
makes more sense than my own distances
As I read on the porch in April,
words slip from the page's corner:
a wedge of grackles.
Tumult of voices: cries that filter
through the wateroaks.
Feathers thrash and lengthen. Fuse.
Plate glass windows shudder
in a sudden wind.
Two great wings rise
as an angel bends
near my wrought-iron chair.
malingering near my shoulder,
a moving current of white tongues,
bridge the space
between my body, my distances
and this spring.
Pollen yellows a neighbor's pickup
a sunlit sheen.
Clouds gust overhead
while I sit in flying shadows,
the sun breaks through, intense
as the wild light in the dogwood's blossom
or the high music flowing from the angel
through the dark roadways of my blood.
--Mary Ann Coleman