poetry, self, possession, ownership, nature
Yesterday a milk snake. The day before, a baby skunk. Today a sapsucker.— Chip Blake
What damage do I do?The night avoids my eyes, so does the road.I am never wholly myself, unto myself.
I need to know the life spanof the June bug who, like a small bison,headbutts my summer screen door,
why the luna moth has no mouth,or if it was a sapsucker not a downy woodpeckerat the feeder a few days ago.
A friend of mine stops to buryany roadkill he comes across,each journey he takes is like the end
of a war, the dead lining a roadthat was supposed to lead to somewheregreater. I saw the first firefly
of the season not out in the fieldhovering like a star above the unwieldynight grass, but on the window near the light
on my desk, his own light dark.I have held the deadin my hands like my friend.
And like him, I want to leavenothing to strangers. I want to buryall that I find with its hunger and awe. [End Page 42]
Didi Jackson is the author of Moon Jar (Red Hen, 2020). Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the New England Review, the Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares, among other journals and magazines. She has had poems in Best American Poetry, Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day, The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith, and most recently Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America's Poets Respond to the Pandemic. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University.