Response to @notajournal’s poetry prompt #1

As you may have heard, I’ve started a new prompt-site/poetry journal, and I’m planning (when possible) to write along with the community of poets that evolves there. This is my response to the site’s first prompt: write a poem about the first animal you see today (using 14 lines and not mentioning the animal). I cheated on my own prompt and went just a bit beyond 14 lines. It’s one of those early drafts where the images conflict… and not in a good way. Still – happy to be generating new work!

Specimen

It sometimes goes like this: She sees me before
I see her, and we both pause, share
the breath between the instant four
eyes lock and two look toward
escape in the field of tall corn.
It is the distance of no more
than a few of her strides, the far
side of the road her place of shelter

from what we have just torn open. Vision
isn’t always evisceration, a gash in the dam,
a birth, slick release of what has been
held so long. But when it is, then
do not dread the hunter’s knife that reaches in
through the fog after an arrow, the pin
that attaches us to the ground, here, even

while the body is still warm.

Artwork from DinamiteSplash, used via Creative Commons; click here for full view.

One thought on “Response to @notajournal’s poetry prompt #1

  1. Good one (both the prompt and the poem)! I like the stillness in the first part and how it contrasts with the hunter/prey relationship in the second, but even that has a quiet stillness to it.

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