Harrowing

 

 

This world is harrowing, harrowing,

all harrow, as if harrow were what

the world is made of, what we are

made of, as if harrow were strings

to be strummed, tendons and veins

to be strummed, as if harrow

could be snapped between the teeth,

the word one letter from the white meal

inside our bones, the meal we could make

of ourselves, harrow, two letters

from the bird who might strum

with its beak what the body is made of,

what the world is made of, and in that

strumming become the song.

 

 

Maggie Smith is the author of The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press 2015), winner of the Dorset Prize; Lamp of the Body (Red Hen 2005), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award; and three chapbooks, including Disasterology (Dream Horse Press, forthcoming). She has received fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2015 she joined the Kenyon Review as a Contributing Editor, and she is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University.

 

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