Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Judith A. Brice: Mourning Calls

From beyond the brume,

beyond the horizon, she swims,

the mallard’s mate,

a wail

for a call, brief before the wait

for her next plaint, shortened and hoarse


From around the cove she floats

into the evening lake, as its restive waves

batter the reeds, tawny and coarse

among the gray, the wind-tossed rocks.

She keens, still mourning—



Out into the wind she drifts,

her westward whines without hope,

amidst the singe of twilight,

a solitary

slipping of sun, singing

its own vast and disappearing song

Note: This poem was set to music by a Michigan composer, Tony Manfredonia, and then performed by a quintet plus voice by Pittsburgh’s Tuesday Musical Club. Click here to listen to the performance.
Copyright 2016 Judith Brice. First published in Versewrights. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

Judith Brice is a retired Pittsburgh psychiatrist. She is the author of two collections of poems: Renditions in a Palette and Overhead from Longing.

2 comments on “Judith A. Brice: Mourning Calls

  1. Caroline David
    September 30, 2018

    So vivid — so beautiful — so sad. She calls for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leo
    September 26, 2018

    One of the most touching, lyrical poems I’ve read in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2018 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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