9/15/21 Workshop – A Poem by Amanda Jernigan

                     BEASTS by Amanda Jernigan

       In my kind world the dead were out of range

       And I could not forgive the sad or strange

       In beast or man.

– Richard Wilbur

 

Her told me of the Cape Town walkup where

he lived till he was eight; the years were spent there,

he claims, his best,

 

although he’s range his wooden beasts, some nights,

along the windowsill to watch the fights

outside. At last,

 

presumably, his folks were reconciled

to moving – this no place to raise a child –

and made to flee.

 

The family came to Canada, where not

much happens for a lion or an ocelot

or boy to see.

 

Where I grew up, and entertained myself

with fairy tales from which I’d struck the wolf.

Though now, I found,

 

I summon wolf and lion, woman, Lord

knows what, and bid that wooden horde

to laager round.

 

 

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