Monday, September 21, 2009

For those interested in the minutiae of creativity, I'll mention that the following poem incorporates all twenty words on one of my son's third-grade spelling lists.


Dawn Potter

From the barren hills a battery of men
marched and stumbled onto the muddy plain,
but the wolves, impatient for spring, mistook them
for scrawny oxen and devoured them. Now the women,
no longer the wives of heroes, hoard turnips and spoiled loaves.
Mice gnaw the empty shelves, grind their yellow teeth
against the split handles of knives and hatchets.
Children launch greening potatoes at the anxious
cattle; they throttle the last angry geese. Pale sheep wander
the bleak forest like ragged deer, tearing twigs and blackened
leaves from the stunted oaks. A sallow pair of lambs huddles
by the half-thawed pool, where a single ancient fish lives out
his cloudy hours, calm, unfixed, a pitcher of silver and lead.
At dusk he drifts into the net.

[forthcoming in How the Crimes Happened (CavanKerry Press, 2010)].

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