In Small Mothers of Fright, Tara Bray draws on her experiences as a mother struggling to strike a balance between protecting her daughter from the world's perils and dazzling her with its many wonders. The birds that fill these pages convey a sense of fragility and uncertainty, while the rhythm of the seasons provides a comfort that promises the old will be made new again.
In a precise yet accessible style, Bray writes about fleeting actions and thoughts that, in sum, create the memorable, lasting moments of life. In one poem, a woman reflects on "e;the way the young self rushes in"e; as she blasts music from her past on the car radio, deliberately calling forth the contrast between past pain and present satisfactions. It is the world of the simple and overlooked -- crows, wrens, food, tea, sermons, ragged coyotes, runners, yogis, poppies -- that serves as something to hold to in spite of loss, human frailty, and unease.