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Wednesday, November 18, 2020


by Erin Murphy

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November 2020  


The cloud bank is a mountain— 

no, a continent—in the gun metal                               


sky and beneath it a cavalry  

of trees, mostly oak, limbs rhyming  


in Vs. Look closer to see the anarchy  

of leaves—some refusing                                


to surrender even after three nights  

of frost. What will it take? 


Remember the film in which  

the boys were cloned from evil DNA. 


Remember half your neighbors 

voted for—and from—hate. 


Who has won? Who has lost? 

Zoom in to the tip of a twig  


where a caterpillar—backlit  

by sunlight—stakes its claim,  


chrysalis of history spooled tight  

as a movie plot. Inside: maybe  


a monarch. Maybe a tiger 


Erin Murphy’s eighth book of poems, Human Resources, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Georgia Review, Field, Southern Humanities Review, Glass, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. She is Professor of English at Penn State Altoona and serves as Poetry Editor of The Summerset Review