Karen J. Weyant


For weeks, we were thirsty.
Back roads sulked, shuffled,
coughed up dust that lingered
on our bare knees, our elbows,
the thin straps of our sandals.

Farmers nailed crows to the doors
of their barns. Parents worried,
smiling with creases cut in their lips
and memories of nightmares,
chalk outlines on faded wood.

It's a shrike, my brother said,
sure of the culprit, flicking
the victims: a sparrow
with barbed wire poking
through stiff feathers, goldfinches

draped over speed limit signs,
a field mouse I pried loose
from a purple thistle, paws limp
in prayer, fur still soft                                    
next to my cheek when I strained,
listening for a single heart beat.

Karen J. Weyant's first chapbook, Stealing Dust, was recently published by Finishing Line Press.  Recent work is in 5 AM, Anti-, Barn Owl Review, Coal Hill Review, Slipstream, and Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas.  In 2007, she was awarded a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.   She is an Assistant Professor of English at Jamestown Community College in Western New York.



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