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By Rebecca Hazelton

Before the war leaned in and blew out

the candles, there were many long days

where lovers called themselves lovers

and a house was a dream but also

four walls, a roof. A father called

to his daughter to see the monarch butterflies,

pausing in their migration to fan the goldenrod,

a tiger in each coy disclosure.

A young man reached for a blackberry

and found draped on a branch a green snake

the color of matcha. A snake the color of matcha

sighed in the sun. People drove in cars.

There were jobs and someone had to work

every morning. A man quit his job

but it was no tragedy. He didn’t like the work.

Another man slid in and found it comfortable

enough, and just as easily slid in beside

the man’s wife and into the everyday rhythms

of his life and that was no tragedy either.

After rains, a ring of mushrooms would delicately

crack the earth. Spanish moss harbored red mites.

The sky wasn’t interesting. No one looked up.


Source: Poetry (February 2016)

Poet Bio

Rebecca Hazelton is the author of Fair Copy (2012), winner of the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry, and Vow (2013), from Cleveland State University Poetry Center. She was the 2010-11 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Creative Writing Institute; and winner of the “Discovery”/Boston Review 2012 poetry contest. Hazelton's poems have appeared in AGNI, the Southern ReviewBoston ReviewBest New Poets 2011, and Best American Poetry 2013.

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