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by Maureen Thorson

inch thick

     with hawk droppings


the smell of hay



all this stuff is



and no one

     knows what it’s for


only that it conveys

     with the property


     a phrase

     as closed-off as a stone


there’s no right words

     for the hawk


folding its wings

     through empty windows


for hunks of iron

     waiting for no one


the idea that someone

     could buy this



     anything their own


by Maureen Thorson

My neighbor’s outfitted the light

to the left of his door with a red bulb,

and the light to the right with a green,

as if his home were a ship, as if

it could drift in the night, as if

it could hit another home unmoored

in gloom, its poor unwary passengers

all wrecked and broken but for some pilot

who knows the roads and markers,

who gently steers the home about the shoals

abutting the gutters, making fast

as dawn comes alongside daffodils

and ash trees, anchors the home

with oaks, with the reality

that daylight people have agreed upon—

the one where houses are solid, safe,

unmoving, heedless of the tides.


by Maureen Thorson

Remember when the oil tank ran dry,

how we had to feed it

diesel so we could take hot showers?


Two bluebirds fluffed as powderpuffs

sat high in the snow-thick spruce.

A third joined them,


sidling across the branch to huddle

heavy as a hound dog against an obliging leg.

We called him Dutch.


Driving to the gas station,

we hadn’t realized the thermometer

set into the old Ford’s dash


could read negative. The road’s yellow lines

lost in an agony of salt.

Do you remember thinking Dutch


and his buddies should probably go?

This wasn’t the time or place

for high living


and happiness is rare enough

when you aren’t numb in your limbs,

when another body’s warmth isn’t worth


ignoring the cup of seed

we threw like an afterthought

on the disobliging snow.


Maureen Thorson is the the author of two collections of poetry, My Resignation (Shearsman Books 2014) and Applies to Oranges (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011). A book of lyric essays, On Dreams, is forthcoming from Bloof Books in 2020. She lives in Falmouth, Maine. Visit her at

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