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Trent Busch


Looking up from my rule where 

I’ve just measured two feet, 

six and seven-eighths inches, 

I see a snake come through 

the hole where the screen door 

has warped away from the jamb.

Tasting, smelling, whatever

snakes do, it esses itself,

a hundred times slower

than it takes to tell, out

the front door to disappear 

in St. Augustine grass.

I measure again and set

the fence, yet, counting the time

I need to recover,

I know I’ll be measuring

again.  What the hell was

it doing, tree snake, rat

snake, garter snake, racer?

I was right the first time.

I use a stop block and cut

the rails.  Then, hopeless trader,

I turn to brush off dust

at the door; half an hour, three

eggs in its belly, likely.

Trent Busch grew up in rural West Virginia, but has lived in Georgia for many years.  He owns a small place out in the country where he builds furniture: coffee tables, night tables, chests of drawers, and other items for the house from such woods as oak, walnut, cherry, and maple. His recent book of poetry, not one bit of this is your fault, was published by in 2019. His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Poetry, The Nation, Threepenny Review, North American Review, Chicago Review, Southern Review, Georgia Review, New England Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Northwest Review, Kenyon Review, American Scholar, Shenandoah, and more recently in Notre Dame Review, Evansville Review, Agni Online, Boston Review, Sou’wester, Poetry Daily, Natural Bridge, Arts & Letters, and The Hudson Review. Also, my poem “Edges of Roads” was the first place winner of the 2016 Margaret Reid Poetry Prize, published by Winning Writers.

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