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Tuesday, November 29, 2016


by Joan Colby

Image source: Cooking with Drew

Sky of beaten tin
Addressed by the bare
Limbs of the hickories.

We gather to eat
Tradition—our politics
Aligned in fortune.

We plan to march in the new year
Against dark forces
That lean like barbed wire
Upon the liberty
Of an open range.

Today, the pasture has gone
Brown and dormant. Like
Those who say give him a chance.
Those who hunker down when the Nazis
Pound on a neighbor’s door.

It won’t be us, we vow,
Unfolding our napkins,
Slicing the breast and the
Good dark meat,
Ladling the gravy
Of our lives so far.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 11 books including The Lonely Hearts Killers and How the Sky Begins to Fall (Spoon River Press), The Atrocity Book (Lynx House Press), Dead Horses and Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press), and Properties of Matter (Aldrich Press). Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.