Poetry October 2011

Mare’s Nest

By accident, we discovered it
          high in the mountains,
not far off the trail
          high in the mountains.

It wasn’t what you’d expect,
          just brush and horsehair
woven clumsily together—
          just brush and horsehair.

It was empty, and yet
          somehow, we could tell
something had been curled there.
          Somehow, we could tell

whatever it was, it was
          not good news at all,
but bloody, a nest like that
          not good news at all,

for there was a stink, a stink
          of manure, a smell of hay
left by the trail—a stink
          of manure, a smell of hay,

of this we’re certain. We’re telling
          the truth as we saw it.
This is our truth, it’s the truth,
          the truth as we saw it

high in the mountains,
          not far off the trail,
a mare’s nest, God help us,
          not far off the trail.

Dick Allen’s most recent collection is Present Vanishing (2008). He currently serves as the poet laureate of Connecticut.
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