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By Vievee Francis

I want to put down what the mountain has awakened.

My mouthful of grass.
My curious tale. I want to stand still but find myself moved patch by patch.
There's a bleat in my throat. Words fail me here. Can you understand? I sink to
my knees tired or not. I now know the ragweed from the goldenrod, and the blinding
beauty of green. Don't you see? I am shedding my skins. I am a paper hive, a wolf spider,
the creeping ivy, the ache of a birch, a heifer, a doe. I have fallen from my dream
of progress: the clear-cut glass, the potted and balconied tree, the lemon-waxed
wood over a marbled pillar, into my own nocturne. The lullabies I had forgotten.
How could I know what slept inside? What would rend my fantasies to cud and up
from this belly's wet straw-strewn field—

                                                                                   these soundings.

Vievee Francis, "Another Antipastoral" from Forest Primeval.  Copyright © 2016 by Vievee Francis.  Reprinted by permission of TriQuarterly Books.

Source: Forest Primeval (TriQuarterly Books, 2016)

  • Living
  • Nature
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Vievee Francis
Vievee Francis is the author of Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006), Horse in the Dark (Northwestern University Press, 2012), and Forest Primeval (Northwestern University Press, 2016), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry. She is an associate professor at Dartmouth College and an associate editor for Callaloo. See More By This Poet

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