MN poetry: Lightsey Darst’s “Follow the red silk thread”

Lightsey Darst won the Minnesota Book Award this past Saturday for her debut collection of poems “Find the Girl.” In addition to her poetry, you can often find her writing about dance for and Mpls-St.Paul magazine, or see her dancing on stage herself. She also runs the writing salon “The Works” at Bryant Lake Bowl.

[Follow the red silk thread]

Beautiful as a plum, my girl–

& just as keen to be bitten.

Mother will you keep her in

On a vase she tumbles into the arms of the god

of underneath: “he will crown me in granite & ruby”

Sweet thing, you have made it all simpler

& more brightly colored,

lovely through your kaleidoscope,


Do you think

I went too far, the dead girl whispers, her nails

scraping down your window, her skinless smile–

The sister: You will take, take, eat.

“She stepped into the clear trap,

she picked the wrong rose, alarms

of bees & earth

swallowed her whole.”

Yes. Persephone you plummet, no one smiling as he lifts

his iron sickle your braids falling in wheat heaps

– “Follow the red silk thread” by Lightsey Darst, as it appears in her collection of poems Find the Girl, published by Coffee House Press. Reprinted here with permission from the publisher.

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