"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes."
You Can Tell the Horse Anything by Mary A. Koncel
(Tupelo Press, 2003)
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When The Babies Find A Cat
We want the babies to pet the cat nicely. We show them how to scratch behind its ears, cuddle it in their
soft, lumpy laps. The babies pretend to try. They hold the cat beneath its front legs, hugging it tightly. But deep down,
we know they're thinking bad baby thoughts: when does a kitty learn to swim? How far can a pair of kitties be dragged by their
tails? The cat swats at them, leaps for the window sill, its back arched in a rise of gray fur. We wonder if the cat can read
the babies' minds. We've heard about natural instincts. The babies have their own. Outside, early each morning, they hid under
shrubs with thin nylon rope and a pair of sharp scissors. "Here Kitty, Kitty," the babies call, their faces beaming between
Abrupt Rural by David Dodd Lee
(New Issues, 2004)
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I remember the piece of twine, how it dangled from a hole
in his boot. More hours drunk, and never mind
how hard you shook him. His eyes wandered
like desert birds while the room pivoted under the sun,
the only sound the ticking of his enormous watch.
here are the photos of your childhood,
in this shoebox.
I am going to place them in the furnace.
Instead I hid them in a wind nursery under the porch.
He used to produce coins out of my ear. Once, while he slept
in a surry of vomit, I stole the watch. I buried it.
I spent the next week sleeping in the barn with the horses.
The Great Apology by Mark DeCarteret
(Oyster River Press, 2001)
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Bernadette, the Saint
In stages I have waned against the backdrop of hill,
The wind-stiffened trees,
while my nerve endings shrank from the soundtrack
of locust, their plotting antennae, diabolical knees
summoning my blood, the spurred cells of compulsion
Why is it the anointed, the blessed, are always ill?
Our bodies uncaressed, the destination of no kiss
but a trembling Spirit's which sucks free the will,
arousing more of the self with each puncture,
each escaping hiss.
Out in the distance, I am the only one made
to be taking in the meadows
all stricken with blossoms, small children, faces taut
with oxygen and the town square beyond
ecstatic with wheelchairs, robust shadows,
filling bottles from the springs
with the miracles they've bought.
And the whole time I'm resisting.
While the town feasts and plays
i eat grass and grow weaker, more selfish---
too frail now but to praise.