Mother cannot stand them, their ignorance

of physics. What difference, wasp tapping

its head at the glass, fly-shine bullet,

helicopters full of bad news? Needles

suck deep at the trumpet vine. Bodies shiver

outside the window, learning our letters,

our plans, that scarlet throat our warning.


Your list of what that sound could be is short

and full of safe facts. But this is not helicopter

country. The crickets are off measure. Cicadas

have not even warmed up. No country son

would be caught dead on a moped on these

dirt roads. What hums nearer, you can’t see

it yet, is something out of Pan’s pocket.

Are you a herd of buffalo? A mouse’s heart?

Will you stampede from this cloud of sound

when it comes, and will it follow until you drop?


Abigail Cloud is the editor in chief of Mid-American Review and teaches in the Department of English at Bowling Green State University. Her first collection, Sylph, won the Lena-Miles Wever Todd prize (Pleiades Press). Her poetry has appeared in journals such as The Gettysburg Review, APR, and The Cincinnati Review.