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.