White Goat, Black Sheep

Summary

Kimberly Ann Priest’s White Goat, Black Sheep is a soul-stirring collection of haunting poetry. Priest weaves sexual abuse, trauma, motherhood, and religion into a narrative tapestry that spans the entire human condition. Her words are a solemn ode for the birth, growth, and loss of childhood innocence.

Initial Impressions

After having had the pleasure of meeting Kimberly in Denton last summer, I swore to support her poetry and writing endeavors in any way possible. As soon as her orders for White Goat, Black Sheep opened in November of last year, I jumped at the chance to make my purchase. I was thrilled to delve back into the world of poetry after many years.

Highlights

Suffering and Solace

Kimberly’s anthology consists of 24 poems interlinked by birth, motherhood, sexual trauma, and physical abuse. Her suffering and solace are tangible in every stanza, dripping into the subconscious like rain.

Blackest Sheep

Imagery is a powerful facet in each of Priest’s poems:

“Death like a blanket:

how warm you are on your alter of sleep,

little sister.”

These and other stanzas draw readers into the most primal human instincts: to love one’s siblings, to fear and embrace the jumping off point between life and death, and to find redemption in one’s own protective instincts. Kimberly has softened the coarse grains of sand that so often slip from in between our fingers as we grow older, question the worth of our legacy, and look towards the void of death with uncertainty.

 

In Conclusion

Visceral and subdued, Kimberly Ann Priest’s anthology is grounded in both silence and somnambulance. Every line moves with the rhythm of the sing-song cries of children who are nurtured and safe, if only for a moment. Her words serve as a reverie for the grace and pains of motherhood. Her promises are steadfast and light, guiding readers into the psalms of many families.

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5 stars

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