This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Stephanie Erdman, is from The Book of Crooked Prayer by Marcella Remund, released by Finishing Line Press in 2020.
What draws us to the prairie is hard
and sharp as the blade of a paring knife
pulled through peach skin.
The faint yellow of kitchen windows
pools, thins to grey between
house, barn, gravel road
in darkness deep as a flour bin,
deep as apron pockets, deep.
Somewhere in the black
a cat carries week-old kittens
from a gaping cellar split open
to canning season
hides them in a tractor tire
overgrown with lamb’s quarters.
Her ribs shift, glide,
a delicate cage where hunger paces
dark and beautiful as the shadow
crossing inside the kitchen window.
Marcella Remund is an Omaha, Nebraska native and a transplant to South Dakota, where she taught at the University of South Dakota. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals. Her chapbook, The Sea is My Ugly Twin, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. Her first full-length collection, The Book of Crooked Prayer, was published by Finishing Line in 2020.