"Luck" by Shara McCallum

Luck
Somewhere a woman with my face
sits alone in a kitchen,

leading my other life, the one
I exchanged when I entered a room

never meant for me.
Copper light saturates the window.

I sit drinking tea and you enter,
carrying spring in your arms:

bouquet of fire lilies, purple bells, white stars.
Your skin browned from sun.

A thief, I snatched this world
from my other’s gaze—

round, expectant as the empty cup
in which she still swirls her spoon.




About Shara McCallum



Shara McCallum was born in Jamaica to Afro-Jamaican and Venezuelan parents and moved to the U.S. at the age of nine. She earned a B.A. from the University of Miami, an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in Poetry and African American and Caribbean Literature from Binghamton University in New York. 
Her books of poetry include Song of Thieves (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003) and The Water Between Us (1999), winner of the 1998 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Her poems have won a college prize from The Academy of American Poets, been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes, and appeared in several journals, including The Antioch Review,Chelsea, The Iowa Review, and Verse. McCallum's poems have been anthologized in The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology (ed. Michael Collier, 2000) and Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century. She is the recipient of a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant in Literature and a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. McCallum lives in Pennsylvania and teaches and directs the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. She is also on the faculty of the Stonecoast Low Residency MFA program.


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