The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Daughters by Brittney Corrigan

This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Daughters by Brittney Corrigan, released by Airlie Press in 2021.

Bigfoot’s Daughter

You want to believe in the bulk
and brown of him reeling through
the thicket, that flash you thought
you saw, the eyes that spun. You want
terror to walk beside you, you want
the wild rush of escape, you want the story.

You want to be alone with your fear,
all of it true, your heart loud like
a woodpecker striking the trees
that seem no longer peaceful, but
sentient and poised to uproot. That cry
in the woods that swallows all other sound.

But listen. What I want you to hear
is birdsong, the lifting that comes from
such beauty, the way the trills and warbles
sift through the stalling rain, alight
on the ghosts of our breath, congregate
and hover as the forest hums.

My father, he is fine-furred and tawny,
eyes green as fiddlehead ferns. Tangled
and swift with his stories, his laughter
sweeps through the undergrowth, bends
you aside. I place my small footprints
in his footprints, leave you stunned.

If you watch the edges of his heart gentle
forth through his body, soft and blurred
and glowing, will you change your mind about
the monster? Witness the glisten and tremble,
the moon gazing down on the pause of the lake.
Like that, the dark not so complete.

My father, I ride on his shoulders,
bring the sky down with my singing, fill
your chest with a joy you can’t explain. We can
make you believe what you saw in the woods
is something fierce and secret. The story
of your own longing, but not yours to claim.

Brittney Corrigan is the author of the poetry collections Daughters, Breaking, Navigation, and 40 WeeksSolastalgia, a collection of poems about climate change, extinction, and the Anthropocene Age, is forthcoming from JackLeg Press in 2023. Brittney was raised in Colorado and has lived in Portland, Oregon for the past three decades, where she is an alumna and employee of Reed College. She is currently at work on her first short story collection.


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