Wild Strawberry Madrigal

Cinquefoil heaven behind tract homes,
creeping with emerald mouse-tail vines

& candied seeded garnet thimbles,
you grew beside the place we buried

goldfish, caged mice, the small pets
we were permitted, first deaths

wrapped in toilet tissue, tucked
into metal bandage boxes

the size of packs of cigarettes
we later smoked in that field, too tufted

to let us dig deep, not that we could,
skinny arms, toy trowels. Alone

I crouched, neck freckling, seared,
liquored up with radiance, with interfere—

Lisa Russ Spaar is the author of many collections of poetry, including Glass Town, Blue Venus, Satin Cash, Vanitas, Rough, and Orexia. A collection of her essays, The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations of Contemporary Poetry, was published by Drunken Boat Media in 2013. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, an All University Teaching Award, an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Library of Virginia Award for Poetry, and the 2013-2014 Faculty Award of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. Her poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry series, Poetry, Boston Review, Blackbird, IMAGE, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Slate, Shenandoah, The Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other journals and quarterlies, and her commentaries and columns about poetry appear regularly in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.


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