Julie Shavin

Prairie Song

In the treeless fields,
round brown skeletons,
rip across the road
faster than cats or rabbits.
We don’t hit them.

They flash like skinned
across the pavement
dividing parched plains.

Skeletal remains
of sheep, cow, elk
fascinate the child,
who covets and collects the bones,
brings some home to show off.

On the prairie,
the wind blows through them
all night, all day
making of the bones
wind instruments,
making of mortality,
a music.

Ending Fairytale

I never returned after bringing him
the problem dog who ran and ran,
plunged into the pond
leapt out like a dolphin
and back in again.

I never returned after this great relief,
not to him, not to the dog.

A couple lived there
who were pregnant,
expectant with love,
love made flesh.

I couldn’t bear to look upon it
not flesh myself but something other—
harder, darker, empty of hope.
An eye is empty,
even when the heart beats on

as when in hospice he tried
to say something, it seemed
maybe water, maybe sponge,
maybe my name,
maybe the dog’s name,
which was Fable.

© Julie Shavin

Julie Shavin is a composer, writer, and visual artist who adopted the Rocky Mountains as home in 1993 after being raised in Georgia.  She works as a specialist content editor and as a licensed professional proofreader who confesses, “Language is my first language.” Julie has received annual Performance Poet and Page Poet awards from the Pikes Peak Arts Council.  She also has numerous honors through the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and received the 2016 Mark Fischer Prize. Her fifth book, Closet Optimist’s Creed, is scheduled for this summer. She serves as President of Poetry West (http://www.poetrywest.net).  Her two poems featured here appeared earlier in her limited run collection, The Grave Oasis.

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