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Published: Fri Jul 1 2011
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
The Fields

Let the voice come through me.
Some who’ve been taken don’t want to talk.
They come out squinting, or disappear
forever.  Persephone is near then.
If you’ve lived in an apartment, you know
how it sounds when someone walks overhead.

At the roof of the underworld, the self splits
where flowers rise on stems that thrust themselves
above . . . grassland floor.  They say a victim often flies
to the ceiling.  I don’t think she leaves her body
so much as escapes to a place she thinks closer
to where someone might save her.  And the campion,
switchgrass:_  Aren’t the fields changed by what happened?_
The earth, like the brain, lies in layers.

Patricia Kirkpatrick is the author of Century’s Road, poetry chapbooks, and books for young readers.  Recent work appears in the anthologies She Walks in Beauty, The Poets Guide to the Birds, and Robert Bly in This World. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, and Loft-McKnight, she is poetry editor of Water-Stone Review. Her interviews with poets, including Adrienne Rich, Brenda Hillman, Li-Young Lee, and Sharon Olds, are published widely; in 2001 she interviewed W. S. Merwin onstage at the University of Minnesota. (updated 6/2011)

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