Overlooking the fact that the plumed, strutting bird Shirley Williams so nearly identifies with happens to be male, this autobiographical cycle of poetry--Williams' first book--genuinely engages your sympathies. This is all about how ""every woman is a victim of the feel blues, too"" and it comes together, piece by piece, from the poet's desertion by the father of her child, to a metaphorical statement on the situation of the black woman vis-a-vis her no-good man. In between there are insets about her people who pick cotton in the San Joaquin Valley, ""brothas"" and ""sistas"" who speak in that richly poetic dialect called Black English. There's an awful lot of the ""One. Sided Bed Blues"" as well as a few explorations in a more passionate vein; some tender words for her little boy; and it comes full circle--as identity crises do--to a song for ""Our Mothers."" Williams is a creditable writer who puts her soul into her work, wholly and unreservedly.