Poetry from Autumn McClintock

Read More: A brief interview with Autumn McClintock

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Genesis 11:4: Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens…otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

Dad catches the bat in a towel,
bunching the ends in a fist
like a hobo suitcase. He carries it
as far as the driveway, then flings,

and the terrified thing beats itself into air.
Most summers were like this.
Toads on the concrete porch, cooling.
The cat brought rabbits,

scared and barely alive or left
just the heads of mice on the kitchen floor,
and we were held responsible
for cracking their unbodied skulls
in morning stupor.

We could not separate ourselves
from these creatures as we did from one another.
Skin cells in the floorboards
and whatever drifted from the sink
when we spit. Air hanging full of our mouths,

but using so little language to make it.
You should have asked your questions long ago.

 

 

New Barn

John 11: 43-44: Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out.

The one we grew up with gone,
crushed by a tree in winter
and insuranced back to life

like a counseled marriage.
No wood-planked steps
to the see-through second floor. […]


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Snow / Whose Child

Bald February light, I hunch, forgetting
the old urge to fling myself down

and wing the earth.
At the top of the yard, we had a sledding hill. […]


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Autumn McClintock lives in Philadelphia, works at the public library, and serves on the city’s Poet Laureate Selection Committee. Her first chapbook, After the Creek, was published in 2016. Poems of hers have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Daily, Green Mountains Review, Atlanta Review, Drunken Boat, Spoon River Poetry Review, and others. She is a staff reader for Ploughshares.

Read More: A brief interview with Autumn McClintock