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Friday, September 25, 2020


by Katherine Smith
Artist: Steve Brodner via Pinterest

On the Senate Majority Leader

The oaks do not aspire
to spirit or imagination,
but grow straight up.

casting their shadows
over the saplings,
they search
for unopposed light
to fall from their canopy                       
into the shadowy ridged bark
of withered trees.
So too

there are human beings—
you know their names—
whose principles are limited
to domination and money.

They are called champions,
these proud lucky ones
that kill everything
that lives

beneath them.

Katherine Smith’s publications include appearances in Poetry, Cincinnati Review, Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Southern Review, and many other journals.  Her short fiction has appeared in Fiction International and Gargoyle. Her first book Argument by Design (Washington Writers’ Publishing House) appeared in 2003. Her second book of poems Woman Alone on the Mountain (Iris Press), appeared in 2014. She teaches at Montgomery College in Maryland.