m_topn picture

D E C E M B E R   1 9 9 6

m_rub_po picture


by Linda Bierds

Hear Linda Bierds this poem (in RealAudio):

RA 28.8, RA 14.4

(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Linda Bierds:
The Weathervanes (1996)
Windows (1994)
For the Sake of Retrieval (1989)

Go to:
An Audible Anthology
Poetry Pages

Safe, we thought.
The floodwaters nestled
the arc of their udders, but no higher --
dewlaps, flanks, even the tips of the briskets,
dry. All day they stood
in the seascape meadow,
their square heads turned from the wind.
By evening they were dead.
Chill, we learned, not drowning,
killed them -- the milk vein
thick on the floor of the chest
filling with cold, stunning the heart.
We had entered the house, where silt water
sketched on the walls and doorways
a single age ring. When we looked back,
they had fallen, only the crests of their bodies
breaking the waterline. I remember
the wind and a passive light.
Then the jabber of black grackles
riding each shoulder's upturned blade.

Copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; August 1996; The Weathervanes; Volume 278, No. 2; page 74.

m_nv_cv picture m_nv_un picture m_nv_am picture m_nv_pr picture m_nv_as picture m_nv_se picture