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Poetry: From the March/April 2007 issue | See all poetry



Endless Argument

A sharp sound in the woods—whatisit?
Not thrush, but threat crashing the scene,
raucous-like, somebody who’d bilk the knot

out of a barrel just for the pleasure
of the spill. Whatisit? Fast-talking barker,
throat full of static and croak. But stuck here

in the muck, you gotta give it credit
for flapping up and getting where it goes,
making the most out of not much.

Could be a crow. Even in snow
it can hold down a paper plate with one foot
and peel off the congealed cheese. Not bad,

given hard times ahead, a skill, a shill,
a pickpocket saying, whatisit?
so you quick look up, and in that split

your wallet’s lifted. Bitch if you want,
but somebody’s gonna stick around
come winter, somebody’s gonna take

all our sweet sad staring off
into infinite vistas, and resist,
insist this grit, these guts?—this is it.

- Betsy Sholl