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Greased piglets hotfooting a pen—

I’mma get em for ya daddy

as they descend from our grasps,

freed from country sport. Children

were there to get dirty,

never to possess, abuse—

                             except for a few—


            the ones I want to pen now,

            the ones who knew play,

            but leaned a cruel way

            to feel the oar's favor.


I would take them all over the side

and feed them their ogre hearts turned terrible hydra.

Then, to groom           them, 

sweet as berried cream, yoke them

to my cart, and ask

            Where is it that you call home?


They will think hard.

They will take me to see their best memories,

where no one brutalizes the garden, no one

            chases you while you thrive, no one

 in the chorus of gunslinger and thief


                                                                                                                      is caught in their own milling of mules

                                                                                                                                     tethered to the creaking wheel.






I am thankful for the two-dollar avocado pool float

I bought for the big Friday moon, the last in forty.


The pit, a removable beach ball—


we need each other, Robert Creeley,

we mustn't resist. Go on

with your gambling and your hot dice breath.

            Go on with your open rituals, too much

on the ocean for existing—


            I'm thankful!

Tonight, I am David Berman of all poets,

and I want to remember this moon's animal servitude

for this right leg that spins me left,

most goalless through the trees, for the insects


            holding each other's feet.


Laura Minor won the 2020 John Ciardi Poetry Prize. Her critically acclaimed debut book of poems, Flowers As Mind Control, is on University of Arkansas Press, 2022. She was also a finalist for the 2019 National Poetry Series and the winner of the 2019 ILA's Rita Dove Poetry Award. 


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