The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Where the Wolf by Sally Rosen Kindred

This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Where the Wolf by Sally Rosen Kindred, released by Diode Editions in 2021. 

Dear October

By the soft collar
you claimed me, season
of early dark, October
at my pin curl’s end. My father
was now a Wednesday night,
a Nova in the drive.
The sedan pulled up at six, horn
hurtling through the bricks:
his headlights fixed mist
in the front-room glass.
And my mother, unwived
for weeks, already down in the den,
sleeping the dahlias off.
Cold month, you turned
me eleven: purse in hand, buttoned
and clasping at the mirror.
Ready. Unready. Afraid.
Dear stairs, dear ladder
of stars, how do I climb down
to wet gravel, away from her?
would I hold my purse,
what could I keep inside?
There was no prayer for this,
no kindness. Dear branch
gusting between porch
and windshield rain,
whose girl are you?
Do you lift your head, or bend?
Dear October, dear door.
By the garnet sleeves you held me.
By the braid.

Sally Rosen Kindred’s third collection is Where the Wolf, winner of the 2020 Diode Book Award (Diode Editions, 2021). Her previous books are Book of Asters and No Eden, both from Mayapple Press, and her most recent chapbook is Says the Forest to the Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in journals including The Massachusetts ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewAlaska Quarterly Review, and Kenyon Review Online. She teaches creative writing workshops online for The Poetry Barn.


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