Maggie Schwed

"Driving to the Bees" and other works of poetry

Books & Poems

Driving to the Bees

Poems highlighting an urban woman’s experience of life and death among animals, memory, marriage, longing, and childhood. From the physical labor to the pangs of parenting, readers will discover beauty in unexpected places.

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With a classicist’s keen eye and sensitive heart, Maggie Schwed’s poems evoke the conflicted yearnings of love and desire, their joys and fidelities, their aching sorrows  These intelligent works with their graceful allusions, portray passionate lives, sometimes stifled, never extinguished

– Emily Fragos

Black Lawrence Press: National poetry month

White Pelican

          Another trick of memory— it’s not the past

The first time the china-eyed dog ran
from the chicken house toward me
somebody whistled him off.
One morning, out of the dust
it leaped to my face
& fastened on.
Jack’s dog. Jack shot him. Threw his body in the river.
At supper, there was the rifle, over the doorway.
Jack said grace. My gory cheeks
stained the napkin.

          —not the past that changes but our relation to it

The summer a skinned lamb
dripped on the hook inside the porch
I knew its name.
Be quick with the door
Jack said. (Because of the flies.)
I didn’t know I knew its name
until it wouldn’t come, until
the tall grass never parted.

Once Jack picked up a snake from the creek
& gave it to me.
But the snake rose up
from the tail where I held it
where he gave it to me
& came at my hand.

          & consequently the story we tell ourselves,

Hold him by the ears, said Jack.
I didn’t see any ears.
He didn’t give me anything after that.

          the one we are— that is the thing that changes.

My turn
to climb down to the river
boulder by boulder, easing in—
I’ll stay
a long while in its obsession,
its cold & clear self
a way to see
the children again
& now
the white pelican.



1 Comment

  1. Muriel Nelson

    June 1, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    What lovely, wise, and delightful poems, Maggie! I admire their exact, spare toughness as well. Brava!


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