Pick-a-Poem: “The Wild”


Happy Wednesday, blog readers! I hope you’ve been having a great week doing whatever it is you do. Though we took a week off, we’re back now with another featured poem courtesy of Poetry Daily, which is a really smashing site that offers a new poem for you to read each day. Check them out if you’re looking for even more new poetry to discover. For now, though, we feature a poem called The Wild, written by Justine Cook.

According to her page on Poetry Daily, Justine Cook‘s poetry has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Poetry, Southwest Review, Ploughshares, and Cimarron Review. In the past, her name graced the mastheads of both The New Yorker and Zoetrope: All Story. Here is her poem that was featured by Poetry Daily.

The Wild, by Justine Cook

The buzzing of a ladybug above the bathroom mirror
sounds like a small plane considering a landing on my head,
bowed toward the executioner’s block—the sink.
My hands cup water like a supplicant, asking for a stay of despair
as my eyes, salty green as the olives our daughter adores, question the hour
when one of us will break from the confines of our lawn,
lush and shaggy from fall rains,
and kick through the sad confetti of fallen leaves,
which shimmered gold and promise-like
on the massive maple—as old as our country—before dropping in a luminous
pool around it. Downright heraldic.
Now those leaves cast about like a wizened nuisance
and their sunkenness says rake me out of sight behind the barn
and keep trudging upward—up the steep base of Red Mountain,
rising behind our house, past the denuded birches
to the bear tree, clawed until it snapped twenty feet up.
Quiet and violent it marks the border—
beyond which the wild begins.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poem. For more posts like this, click here!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


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