J U L Y 1 9 9 7
FIELD NOTESby Kelly Cherry
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Death underfoot wherever you walk,
Overhead, at hand.
The bird flat on its back,
The shrew, its face sharp as a pencil.
And the bee silent upon the sill.
The spider whose web goes on snagging flies for dinner
Even after she's been bagged and eaten.
A shrew is so small,
It is amazing that it lives at all,
With a tail as long as a tirade.
Kelly Cherry is the Eudora Welty Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her new book of poems, Death and Transfiguration, will be published this fall.
Copyright © 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; July 1997; Field Notes; Volume 280, No. 1; page 56.