What Rough Beast | Poem for July 14, 2017

Bette Jane Camp

In the freezing marsh, cattails call down the Queen
of Winter, Empress of White Rivers, and some
trees even bow back.
We can only waltz like this if we want her
to see us. But down by the footbridge,
we’re better off trying to guess which animal
left the three-pronged tracks along the river’s frozen
flanks. Oh, she knows who’s cold on earth. She watches for
the green, the democratic. We can only wonder / which
animal was banished to the other bank.


Bette Jane Camp’s poems appear or are forthcoming in FORTH Magazine, Blind Glass Magazine and the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation. She hails from Mukilteo, Washington and currently lives and works in Vermont.

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