» Poetry


In the night sky, Arabs see al’awa’id,

the Mother Camels, a pattern of stars

that seem to gather around a calf

and protect her from hyenas.


In the life before this one, daughter,

I might have carried you for just over a year,

and delivered you to your first slow,

searing desert breaths.


The camel mare is the only mammal

who does not clean her infant

after birth, nor bite through the umbilical cord.


Another cord binds me to you;

it runs from brainstem

to lumbar region, with nerve roots,

dorsal roots, ventral roots,


the peripheral butterfly columns,

and the cauda equine (horse’s tail),

motor supply for the perineum

that brought you into light in late

September, a desert sunflower,


your eyes dolly-blue, to gift me

my happiest autumn.


A calf is born with eyes open.

Did you know camels always face the sun?


Their lovely long eyelashes

and their tears protect their eyes

from sand and grit and blindness.


We were nomads, in that other life;

maybe that is why I do not see you

as much as I would like, but we are bound

to each other nonetheless.


You’ll find me waiting in al’awa’id

even at the dawn of my next life.



Tamara Miles

Tamara Miles teaches College English and Humanities in South Carolina. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of publications including O’Bheal, Feminine Collective, Fall Lines, The Blue Nib, Tishman Review, Obra, Apricity, Elm Leaves, Cenacle, and RiverSedge. She hosts an audio literary journal/radio show at SpiritPlantsRadio.com called “Where the Most Light Falls” and welcomes submissions.