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Published: Fri Jul 1 2005
Art by Jin Suk
Afternoon 1

Storm coming, I can tell by our cat
heading under the bed—giving the slip, little coward,
_               _and the smell—muted silver sizzle—

Boughs chase squirrels
_                             _before boom-box thunder,

woofers and tweeters perched in the western branches—

Cat eyes umlauts under my nightstand—

My family—the Colonel’s family—speak to each other
_             _ with thunder on our sleeves,
_                                             _whiskers in our bellies—

_          _he      she      they      we
the body-still-warm pronoun—

When it comes, lightning’s dragon,

my daughter and I speak to each other raining hands.

Daneen Wardrop is the author of three poetry collections: The Odds of BeingCyclorama, and Life as It, which received the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Award. A fourth collection, Silk Road, will appear later this year. She has also published three books of literary criticism, including Emily Dickinson and the Labor of Clothing (New Hampshire, 2009).  She has received, among other honors, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her poetry has appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNITriQuarterlyFIELDThe Antioch ReviewCrazyhorseKenyon ReviewMichigan Quarterly ReviewNorth American Review and elsewhere. (updated 4/2018)

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