First Light
Susan Moorhead

March 18, 2014


I know this sound, first birds of morning.
As a child, I waited hours for the drape
of night to roll up again. Leaning into the first
hint of the fresh day, the fragile lace of hesitant
light, the receding darkness dappled with bird song,
able at last to close my eyes.

I know this sound, some kind of redemption,
waking me from scattered sleep, a healing fragment
even as the work of the previous day marks my bones
in notches. Night leaves its small fur as the dawn
pushes, as the birds persist, and morning unfurls
like a promise you hoped someone would keep.


Susan Moorhead’s business cards read “Writer, Librarian, Insomniac.” A graduate of Manhattanville’s MFA program, her work has been published in a variety of print and online journals and the collections Dogs Singing, and Intimate Landscapes. Nominated twice for a Pushcart prize—previously for nonfiction, and this year a short story in Lowestoft Chronicle—her recent work is a first place poem in Let the Poets Speak, along with poetry in the Connecticut River Review and Danse Macabre, and nonfiction in JMWW.

What motivates her to create:
“Art, whether it is mine or others, has always been how I navigate the world. The words and images in my own writing, art, and photographs are my response to the glorious awfulness and wonder of it all. I am grateful.”