The Missing (absent figures stood near)

From the trunks of trees             and bare stones
Sprung the dead and abducted girls
And the terrifying bodies of men and older boys
From the air sprung the monsters
From the air sprung the horror
Of knives in the dark
From the ground came the voices of the people who had lived in the valley
Before settlers came
Their missing voices and bodies sprung from the grass
From the animals sprung the warmth
Of internal worlds from my skin sprung the silent
And bitter mystery of my solitude
The shame stretching throat to groin
Sprang from a place or a moment or a thing
I did not know and could not see or remember
The shame came alive singing back to  the invisible things everywhere
These things that were real            the most real
When I was young

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

I am native of rural Oregon though I lived for some years after college in northern Italy.  I hold an MFA in poetry and PhD in English from Washington University.  My poems, translations, and articles of literary criticism have appeared in journals in the US, the UK, and Italy.  My first book of poems, The Paled Guest, was published by Aldrich Press in January 2018.  Currently, I teach medieval literature and creative writing at a small liberal arts college in central Minnesota where I live with my husband and our two sons.

 

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