Contents | July/August 2001

In This Issue (Contributors)

More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.

The Atlantic Monthly | July/August 2001

by Talvikki Ansel
audioear pictureHear Talvikki Ansel read this poem (in RealAudio)

Olive green of pond water, tea-
colored is the newt's body.
Legs stroking, it floats close
to the surface, lazily circles
the dock's posts, a fish
swallowing in the shallows.
Its feet once walked moss, logs—
a world and name, eft, left behind.
Pinpoints of vermilion
freckle its skin. It nudges
under foating leaves blown down
from the trees. Saturdays,
the zebra-striped plane flies up
from the neighboring fields.
Its roar follows the tree edge,
our pork-chop-shaped parcel of land,
turns back at the boundary. Over
the woods, over the dock,
narrow trails and deer paths,
the dead tree where the vulture roosts.
A finite number of times the engine
will go up, up. The zebra in the circus
ring prances round. Rises
the snapping turtle's triangle face
from the mud. My wishing to nudge
the days larger, longer. A girl's run
in the woods at dusk—blue shorts
the hunters saw briefly as the deer's
flickering of blue sky.

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Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; July/August 2001; World; Volume 288, No. 1; 120.