Spring Mares


During the Colorado floods we had plans for escape,

for Durango, for Mesa. We were hitching a trailer south.

We were, in fact, gone. On higher ground we slit trout

down to the bone and scrubbed our bloody hands

in the lake. Sun twitched beneath our skin.

A farmer called from Lyons and told us

the news: two draft mares, still hitched, shoulder-high

in the mud. One shot. Neck limp.

Another shot. Breath gone. Two echoes trailed

at the bare backs. As we listened, clouds

grew loud and heavy. More rains headed straight

for the creek of our coming years. Even now the wind takes

to the gate every summer, and small tin lanterns

tremble, dusting their own flames for proof. 


Shawn Fawson works and lives with her family in Denver, Colorado. Her book Giving Way won the Library of Poetry Book Award and was published by The Bitter Oleander Press in 2010. Her work is forthcoming in Chatauqua, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Vallum, among others. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.