“Stairway to Heaven Sonnet” by Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton

Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton


Florida’s state bird is the crane, by which we mean
green, orange, and yellow construction cranes that hang
a mile or more above us on the beach and swing their pointy
arms all around like slow-mo highwire ballerinas.
They stand while they sleep and each weekday morning
call out their metal duets then begin their pointe work.
I ask my love: do you think that crane would crush
us in our bed like palmetto bugs if it fell north?
Of course it would, my amour says and that night
wakes up screaming, flapping very human arms.
Sometimes we feel watched over as we grab our
water wings and float like the dead on top of the sea.
Sometimes our necks ache from craning at the cranes
that sway to Led Zeppelin at dawn, all flute and wonder.

from Rattle #51, Spring 2016
Tribute to Feminist Poets


Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton: “We’ve been writing collaborative poetry since 1991, two women’s voices blended together to create what many readers experience as a totally third voice—as well as an invigorating, humorous feminism. When we first started writing together we were often dismissed. Now, as the ‘Fairy Godmothers’ (Campbell McGrath) of contemporary collaboration, our work of the last 25 years has been honored and published by Sibling Rivalry Press, and we’re thrilled. We still write and have always written for women and the allies of women. Viva the power of collaboration!” (website)

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