The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Still the Animals Enter” by Jane Hilberry


“A Hole in the Fence”

I wake to the sound of deer prying
the fence with their antlers.

Far north, my woodsy one loves the shuffle

of bears on a trail, unlit
island roads where moose appear, full blown,
in the headlights—

Elsewhere, a woman dances
in the kitchen with her man, a little silliness
before plates are stacked and lights

switched off, before they move
to another room.

Creaking, scraping sounds—
the deer are coming through the fence.

Is your heart lined with fear, like gold leaf?

Outside, how mild the air, lynx
stirring from their dens, birds swelling with

eggs, crocus grunting
out of the bulb.

The trees, leafing, turn
into different creatures, and the wind
makes the tips of the pines gesture—

to me, to one another.

You could be part of this.

This selection comes from Jane Hilberry’s poetry collection Still the Animals Enter, available now from Red Hen Press. Purchase your copy here.

Jane Hilberry‘s previous collection, Body Painting, won the Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in the Hudson ReviewDenver QuarterlyColumbia Poetry Review and many other journals. With her father Conrad Hilberry, she co-authored This Awkward Art: Poems by a Father and Daughter, introduced by Richard Wilbur. Her interest in visual art led her to edit a letterpress volume titled The Burden of the Beholder: Dave Armstrong and the Art of Collage and to write a book of biography/art criticism called The Erotic Art of Edgar Britton. She also co-authored, with Mary Lynn Pulley, a little book about email. In addition to teaching Creative Writing, Creativity, and Literature at Colorado College, she has facilitated creativity workshops and arts-based leadership development programs across the United States and at The Banff Centre in Canada.

Beth Couture currently serves as both a Board Member and an Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications. Her work can be found in a number of journals and anthologies, including Gargoyle, Drunken Boat, The Southeast Review, Ragazine, and Thirty Under Thirty from Starcherone Books. Her novella, Women Born with Fur, was published by Jaded Ibis Press in 2014 as part of its Blue Bustard Novellas series. She is currently working on her Master’s in Social Work at Bryn Mawr College, and she lives in West Philly with her husband and five cats.


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