Beth Woodcome – Two Poems

Beth Woodcome

Two Poems

The Town

It’s hard to separate life from one’s own version of it.
For instance, I died.  In actuality, I’m still alive.

Don’t you see that junction ahead, Routes 12 & 62
where all of the local urges meet, where you go

to hold a town meeting to request documentation
on the conception, delivery, and burial?

It’s impossible to prove you weren’t an auburn horse.
One thing to agree upon is the smell of wool in rain,

and that is as universal as we can be given our history.
If you say it’s summer, at least say it’s winter, too.

There are half of us who grieve the overuse of light,
who take the new weather as a personal offense and tax.

Townspeople!  I don’t say this to hurt you;
If I wanted to hurt you I’d say something different.

It’s delicate work explaining the story of one town, one collective
divided and sub-divided like the body of a discounted lamb.


This morning the three dogs shat
on the floor and that’s what I woke to.

Before I even woke my body took itself
in, took it in like an immediate mother would.

Not every mother, but let’s get back to you.
One dog is now sleeping at my feet.

I know how that feels, that shame.
This is my sixty-seventh postcard.

Each time, when I say
I wish you were here

I mean to say I don’t know if you’re real
or intend to hurt me by having a body I can’t get to.

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