Ann Arbor Review
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
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AAR history note: in print 1967 - 1980. Irregular publications 1980 - 2004. As ezine 2004 - present. Most of 51 years all together....
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IN THE OKEFENOKEE
was two eyes, two nostrils,
above the surface,
the rest idling below.
His prey came
some distance to be with him –
from the shallows.
One didn’t move.
The other stepped slow.
Then the gator pounced,
cut the poor bird’s panic
off at the knee,
swung its catch
from side to the side
in perfect jaw clench,
back to its den.
From high on the bank,
I beheld a red trickle
like snake slither
through the brown.
What tragedy, I thought.
What a masterstroke,
was my other thought.
THE LAND OF AFTER-THE-FACT
In November, I come in out of the woods,
report back to words, swamp peace for
geared-up tension: what did I see out there?
what do I remember? Now nature’s stocks
are bare, can I recreate summer on the page,
type my way into pastel October,
find new ways to praise the passerines,
exult the eagles, hail the hawks,
turn deer and possum anthropomorphic?
The room is cluttered, the tools familiar,
and everything is in the past. From
my window, I can see a solitary
oak, stripped of leaves, its boughs swaying
in a brisk nor’wester. I do this for that
tree as much as for myself.
Yesterday’s puddles are today's ice beds.
Leaves bobble like red and orange bonbons
on the trees.
Birds are fewer but the songs more urgent.
Wind picks up, a sorrow to its wail,
like it longs to be just breeze again.
Hannah is stuffing the crawl space.
Anna blow-dries plastic sheets to windows.
The woodpile's high but is it high enough?
The children are up in their rooms,
not reading, not studying, not anything.
and then they're up in their heads,
like the body itself is rooms.
A deer nibbles grasses at the far end of the field.
It trembles enough for all our fears.
What we wouldn't give for a carnival.
A carousel. But aren't we on one?
John Grey, Australian;Johnsten, RI
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