Backyard Poem #5

An ever-changing landscape. Monet painted what he saw. Dark skies. An animal eats another animal. Remains to sweep up. Some fur. Sometimes the dead heads are left at the foot of the driveway. It’s a race to pick up the remains before kids walking to school get to the heads. You do not want a phone call from a parent about animal heads. Clouds gather in spring, hail surprises. Curl up under an afghan during the storm or plant. Planting is easier in the rain. Gardening is joyful, until it isn’t.  The dirt unveils its own agenda. A shard of glass looks like a plastic knife. A foreign body gets in; a scalpel cuts the poison out. The retired couple next door bulldozes trees to park a boat.


Jennifer MacBain-Stephens attended NYU but has spent a large part of her life moving up and down I-95 and I-80 in the Midwest and recently moved to Virginia. She is the author of the chapbook Clotheshorse, (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming 2014) and the chapbook Every Her Dies (ELJ Pubilcations, forthcoming 2014). She has written four YA non-fiction books (Rosen Publishing) and has many poems published online and in print. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in public places in Iowa.  Recent work can be seen/ is forthcoming at Vector Press, The Golden Walkman, Toad Suck Review, and Hobart.