South Fork Poetry: ‘Night Scene’

By Davida Singer

black swallows day
behind the deck
she flips the switch
displays an acre of woods
enchanted
and someone’s outline
smacks of her father
undead
far as a high fly
on the vapory road
her mother’s form
is easier to guess
in glitter blond
before dementia

staring hard
she pegs her parents
posed like frozen deer
among the trees
her mother chic
in mauve chambray
her father
in that wall-to-wall grin
and slouched fedora

why have they come
so present tense/serene
to keep her company
she fancies
intoxicating
the feel of them
as they approach
with time unsprung
so she can trace
how memory transfigures
like a clip of stills
suspended
over what it gleans


This poem appears in the “Long Island: East End” section of Davida Singer’s “Port of Call,” out earlier this year from Plain View Press. She will read from the collection on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor, accompanied by the jazz bassist Ken Filiano. Ms. Singer teaches writing and literature at Hunter College and the School of Visual Arts in New York.