The Elect,
This Time Gone So Fine

The Elect

You can’t hear me
whimper over thumps
on your Bible—the whumpety-
whumps of a flat losing
air—quickly, quickly, we’re going away
where rubber meets sum down the road: fur;
flesh. Blaring
lights light dead eyes. Mouse.
Turtle-deer. Some body’s home-
made child
stitched up,
to look almost real. 

3 November 2004









This Time Gone So Fine

Sheltered wilderness a paradox, naturally
macabre. I am
inside. Outside, goofy
moose face above graceful gams;
loon’s tremolo; grand
web’s hoarding, and nights,
the cat, her catch. Each fresh kill
makes kitty cry, a sound like sex while mourning—
“Your hunts aren’t required.
Prides don’t play with food.”

Domestication confuses. What cat bats, bats back—
a mole, a vole, last night, a squirrel. Restless,
mean, I wrest her prize. Fling it from the porch.
She sniffs blood. I stalk off.

In morning a man lifts the dead
rodent. Paws
recall my grandmother’s hands
in final days, each pointy nail,
perfection. Its left eye, an em dash,
the right, open, shining—a tiny black olive,
or just an eye—
witness to its own abrupt subtraction.

Five a.m. walkout.
Be where the storm
the wooden porch,
the pewtered pond.
Pink sugar-water attracts
wings razoring razoring rain
wings stay winds.
Sharp bones warm
within feathers and flap.
Slim bills suck
sappy treats meant only for them.
What can you say of false nectar?
It rots bird’s teeth.
Jays come.
So do squirrels—quarrels.
Some want water, some, seeds.
Each wants to feast another’s feeder.
Nature’s raw raucousness flares,
ebbs. Out on the pond
a loon—eyes red.

Jackman, ME






Elena Alexander

ELENA ALEXANDER’s poem "How the Lurking" won The Arts Respond to 9-11 competition.