April Poetry Month (Day 12): Alessandra Simmons #npm17 #wppoets

Alessandra Simmons _ photoAlessandra Simmons is a PhD student at UW-Milwaukee in English, Creative Writing and a poetry editor at cream city review. Her poems have appeared in The Other Journal, WomenArts Quarterly, Rabbit Catastrophe, Hawaii Pacific Review and other journals. Her current obsessions are maps and paddleboarding. She splits her time between Milwaukee and Washington Island where she works at Hoot Blossom Farm, which supplies fresh veggies and flowers to local restaurants. She interviews working writers on her blog: alessandrasimmons.com



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Apprentice to the A
merican Beaver (Castor canadensis)

“A beaver resembles a cucumber with a short stem, or a duck with the neck & head cut off, or a ball of yarn, flattened a little.” -Adriaen van der Donck, 1645

It is said the castor
is a kettle, a hatchet,
a loaf of bread.
Enchanted Christians
with fish-tasting tails,
I am your punishment
for knowing too much.
A taste for timber,
you knot rivers, build
strings of tumid jewels.

With deer,
wolves, poplar, I coppice
on your banks.
Hunger bright
in their jaw, your sons
& daughters listen for water.
Listen for the snap
of a ready tree.
You toil, court,
instruct & I listen,
see the trees
dragged from their
grave markers,
wish for axe so muscular,
a night so sleepless.


Wild Licorice

Upstairs, God’s dragging
the dining room table
across the clouds. The earth’s a fallen
crumb. Bolts of hunger
arch across the roof.
I fear a war has found me.
No highways, no skyscrapers
dull this Atlantic—
the backyard drowned in green.