Native Strand by Laura Romeyn
Associate poetry editor Jessica Duncan on today's bonus poem: Laura Romeyn’s “Native Strand” explores the feelings of inner chaos, of a quiet and subtle panic. This poem is covered in the stickiness of smeared blueberry, weighted with the silent alertness of a deer in headlights (or maybe the attic). It plays on our most innate and original fears: acceptance and survival. What happens when we pull back the drapes and see our fears displayed? How do we react to our own panic?
Tonight there are fawns
in the attic. I've been cupping
my hands for blueberry, for
the laying of sod so that in the morning,
when I pull back the drapes,
I'm going to see that someone's eaten.
Tonight I am feeding at will,
at a moment’s notice grabbing up
the indigo, rubbing the pigment into
my bone structure so that I appear
to have met wild conditions.
One of the boys, he's bent over
packing himself with sticks and I find
myself hugging the ground all around
our property in my reddish coat,
browsing closer to the main house
now. More bark here because the frame
is made of it, supports it. I harness
my support in the bucket. Add a rope,
cut a milk jug from the side to fill it
with berries, both hands.
My broken hoof eyes are wide
with no sleep. They are turning
into small, sweet edibles. So are those
of hers, my twin. We’ll see who’s
picked now, who mother comes back for.
Tonight there are fawns in the attic.
Someone has shaken me down.
Laura Romeyn's poems are forthcoming in Crazyhorse and Devil's Lake. She is the Assistant Poetry Editor for upstreet and holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn.