SPEAK OF THE MEADOW
Speak of the meadow and it appears.
Speak of the fox and it’s gone.
If, as the philosopher says,
the limits of my language are the limits
of my world, then the world is part comfort,
part threat. The pasture shields, briefly,
the trickster from the hunter.
At the edge of the wood
a flash of red. I can’t say what I see.
Speak of the unwanted world
and it speaks back. The sky boils,
but cradles a white sun setting, a firefly
in the jaw of a lynx.
Its tongue curls out, whipping a word
at a child that can’t snap back, and
I hear the trees roaring, receding,
blindfolded branches lashing their leaves,
the names themselves nameless.
JENNIFER MOORE was born and raised in Seattle. She is the author of The Veronica Maneuver (The University of Akron Press), and her poems appear in Best New Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, and DIAGRAM. An assistant professor of creative writing at Ohio Northern University, she lives in Bowling Green, Ohio.