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Heat Lightning in a Strange Land
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        One of childhood's mysteries, those ferns that close
    with the sweep of a hand. I don't see them
in my new country, north of I-12

        where I'm shipwrecked—high and dry, an outsider
    drifting from streets that tell my story of
insurance rates and this last evacuation north

        of Lake Pontchartrain to a New South.
    New construction—absurdly faux
French country style on parcels

        of a dairy farm. Red foxes at dawn are new
    to me and my sons, my sons exploring
the blacktop after dark, burning

        their bare feet and wasting our hurricane
    batteries in flashlights. There's hardly cause,
anymore, for its official use, so I crank

        the emergency radio that we might have the blues
    with our fireflies, with flashlight doubloons
that shine at our feet. Heat lightning

        travels sideways while we shoot baskets
    in the driveway. The mosquito truck
passes three times in a halo of spray.

        We hold our breath and run, upending
    leggy tadpoles held captive in go-cups.
Nothing can hurt us out here.

Alison Pelegrin  

Alison Pelegrin is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Hurricane Party and Big Muddy River of Stars. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and her poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, and New England Review. She teaches English at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Copyright © 2013 Louisiana State University Press
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Alison Pelegrin. "Heat Lightning in a Strange Land." Southern Review 49.2 (2013): 217-217. Project MUSE. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Pelegrin, A.(2013). Heat Lightning in a Strange Land. Southern Review 49(2), 217. Louisiana State University Press. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Alison Pelegrin. "Heat Lightning in a Strange Land." Southern Review 49, no. 2 (2013): 217-217. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed April 10, 2013).
T1 - Heat Lightning in a Strange Land
A1 - Alison Pelegrin
JF - Southern Review
VL - 49
IS - 2
SP - 217
EP - 217
PY - 2013
PB - Louisiana State University Press
SN - 2168-5541
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_review/v049/49.2.pelegrin.html
N1 - Volume 49, Number 2, Spring 2013
ER -


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