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Polly Brown


Late afternoon, sun

dropping west, the barn’s

shadow shifted on green

and brown grass—this was

August—to a perfect,

rectangular slightly sloping

state, a miniature Wyoming.

I looked out the kitchen window,

let go of what was happening

in the house. I reached for that flat,

translucent darkness cast

by the barn’s ancient bulk,

and held on.

Francie and Gravity

For years Francie figured original sin

was another name for gravity—

for the way we’re bound to fall.

To love, but not enough; to fail anything

beyond our own self-absorbed bodies,

and them besides. Lately she hopes

there might be redemption in defiance

of that power. Evel Knievel,

rocketing his canyon. Mary Poppins.

Jugglers, dancers, Icarus, little kids

learning to jump. Or this:

on the plains, Lakota lifting their dead

high in a tree they’ve traveled far

to find. Something like heaven.


Polly Brown recently resettled an old family place, and has a lot of conversations with crows. Her most recent book, Pebble Leaf Feather Knife, was released in 2019 by Cherry Grove Collections. Recent poems have appeared in Appalachia, Canary, Chautauqua, Naugatuck River Review, and Quartet Journal.


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