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Miranda Beeson



When the loon surfaces on the flat

five o'clock bay, I realize we have

both been under water for far too long.

It dives again & I hold my breath.

A fish flips, a gull circles, a cloud lifts,

the lone roar of a motorcycle going fast

somewhere far away, farther now,

like youth ebbing into a fume of age.

I wait & wait (they say loons can dive

200 feet, stay under for 5 minutes...)

until I see its sleek head re-punctuate

this wide blue field. I feel its surge,    

its buoyancy, our shared exhalation

—what is it but the desire for life?




A friend has lost his brother as I lost

mine. Here one moment, then gone the next.

I want to tell my friend how time stops—

my old watch?—2:15 on that Monday—

15 years passed & I was still asking—

Where have you gone? & why am I still here?

How to accept the unacceptable.

The other day I heard a Bach sonata

on someone else's piano & I watched

my brother drive down that long, lyrical

hill from our dark yellow Victorian

in his blue VW, 3 days before I knew

I would never see him again. I want

to tell my friend—that time is a minefield.




Birds flew into the farmhouse all summer

long: sun, wind & no screen door. Sometimes

they were nothing more than a small flutter

in the next room like my mind fielding one

thought to the next & they would simply wing

back out. But the Catbird would have none of

that. She dashed herself into glass, shat sills

in fear, mewed the mew that gray Catbirds do.

We were two frantic souls in the stanzas

of the house until I captured her quivers

in an old bath towel & released her back

outside—only to watch her try to fly

back in—all summer long. Catbird I say:

a cage is a thing of our own making.





Equinox. A scatter of starlings. The hay

is burnished, almost burnt, waiting to be

harvested: how sometimes we want to be

cut down, threshed & meshed into something

more meaningful than our tiny, worried

lives: Money. Home. Love. Loneliness.

My car's check engine light is on again—

a hatchback that's lasted longer than most

of my love affairs & that early marriage

when I got him a green card & loved him

along the way: lost in Maine now with that

crazy millionaire who used to threaten me

way back when I could survive anything.

Pouring rain. 9.23.23. Ophelia is her name.





May again. Everything is being born.

Ayla, the Springer Spaniel is now two,

a teenager who skulks along the edge              

of the field tracking wild turkey chicks

(a brood of 10 with 2 mothers) only

to turn away, the way all teenagers do—

in search of the new. The field is little

more than a sheen of green behind the

meddling Mugwort that's claimed more

territory since last spring: one stalk makes

200,000 seeds. How everything changes

before our eyes while we secretly insist

it will stay the same. How we too are seed:

flesh & bone, sown & reaped, here & gone.   


Miranda Beeson is the author of Wildlife (Spuyten Duyvil) as well as the chapbooks Ode to the Unexpected from novelist Peter Cameron's Shrinking Violet Press, The Jones of It and Catch & Release, recent finalists for the Tomaž Šalamun Prize. Her poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies including Barrow Street, The Southampton Review, The Best American Poetry, Typishly & Melville House’s Poetry After 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poets. She received her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton.

Awards & Honors include Palette Poetry’s Spotlight Award, a Jody Donohue Poetry Prize, Chicagoland's Poets & Patrons Sonnet Award, and the support of NYSCA for her writing programs.



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