XXI – Laura Snyder

for Emily Dickinson

My poor head will not hold
The Thorns that do prick!
Overflown, the Floods sweep
Footpaths, ricks of hay, the milch
Cow—every chrysalis of Love—
All perish in the raging beyond Remedy.
Loss, Loss, the sky is Broken,

No needle can pull it closed.
The fox’s plush Alarm—alas,
Pups in their den in the sand hill
Filled with floodwater. Death,
Your face brings venomous Stings.
Birds refuse to sing. Their Wings
Taped shut! Fire, my fire
Is snuffed from the ink well.


Laura L. Snyder wrote XXI after falling into Emily Dickenson’s head through a class at the Richard Hugo House. Find her latest writing in Quill and Parchment, Windfall, Labletter, and the anthologies: Tranquility, Poets of the American West, The Cancer Poetry Project 2, and Storm Cycle 2015: The Best of Kind of a Hurricane Press. Recently, she had a writer’s residency at Hypatia-in-the Woods. Laura has two chapbooks of poetry, Winged, and Witness, and was nominated for a Pushcart.

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