“At the Love Feast” by Curtis Derrick

Curtis Derrick


Father’s special homily gave Mother
and the choir some rest. I leaned
across Delphina’s lap beneath her arm.
So much was moved
by her painted fan,
Jesus on a hillside tending lambs. 
Wave on wave, Love wafted,
perfect and perfumed,
from her soft, black hand.

from Rattle #81, Fall 2023


Curtis Derrick: “As a preacher’s kid, I was baptized in the poetry of the Bible, the Lutheran liturgy, and hymns. My first sense of rhythm, rhyme, metaphor, and poetic devices such as alliteration came from these religious sources. But I grew up in an era when school recitations of poetry were still common. So, my exposure to more secular poets grew rapidly through memorizations of Longfellow, Frost, and Sandburg, for example. My early favorite was a poet of the troubadour school, Woody Guthrie, who gave me the metaphor that has been my motto ever since the fifth grade: ‘I’m just a speckle on a freckle on a face that’s got too many.’”

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