Anne Pierson Wiese
The Trumpets of Worms
It's not even spring, yet—only the first warm
flush in March—but last night while I sat
in my lawn chair on the lookout for bats,
I heard crackling from the perennial bed.
I'm new to gardening, and pretty old
to be starting out, but I made it through
fall pruning and planting, and soon
I'll learn what—if anything—I did right.
Imagine ivory tips of shoots cutting the dark
ground, naked as babies' teeth, and knowing
you put them there, watched the snow's surface
all winter, wondered what was happening below.
Now all the earthworms that curled in dislike
when sunlight flooded my spade's wake
last year are waking up hungry, rising
for air, curveting against the underbellies
of dead leaves with such tender unanimity
that the bed's surface breathes and pops—
so loud on this night, even a human can hear
the trumpets of worms.
Two Kinds of Death
I am disturbed by small noises,
as if disaster might strike one
drip of water at a time, or cheeping
for a fresh charge, or with the slight
scrape of a hard-backed bug behind
a bookcase. With every day, a little dose
of death—yet, how its sharp edge
turns blue bluer and truth truer.
Because there are two kinds of death:
the simple one that only happens
once, and the uncanny other—sifting
through us like magnetic dust, ballast
for what we might otherwise too lightly love.
What worth having does not hurt to hold?
Prairie du Sac
In a vacant lot
in the big city
of one cricket
at my chest
The thirsty light
of one firefly
does not appear.
Pain can be used
as a lever.
I cannot go on
in these black
like a killer.
in my heart's
is the pinch bar
to lift me?
Anne Pierson Wiese’s first collection, Floating City (Louisiana State University Press) was chosen by Kay Ryan to receive the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. She was the 2019-20 recipient of the annual Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship in poetry, and have also received fellowships in poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the South Dakota Arts Council, as well as a “Discovery”/The Nation poetry prize. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals, among them The New England Review, Raritan, Ploughshares, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, The Antioch Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Southwest Review. My creative nonfiction has recently appeared in The New England Review, Raritan, and The Antioch Review.