Three Poems by Sara Biggs Chaney

 

 

 

TELL ME A STORY ABOUT A CITY

Before you were born there were no cities     only seeds that held cities inside
At first cities were small     they stayed inside seeds and they hid
Then the tiny roads split and made more of themselves and the rivers 
excused themselves from the roads and the bridges they climbed to the moon
The seeds got fat with sewers and cobbles and panes of glass
They got so fat that one day they opened and became places 
where people might stay
Our father he picked the best seed of all and he said I think we’ll stay here awhile
That’s the story of how you were born

 

 

 

TELL ME A STORY ABOUT A SEED

Sometimes, our father grew angry in gardens
Always his anger was terrible
He tossed stalks and petals and they fell down
You were the only one who could soothe him
He liked to roll you over the top of his hand
with one finger balanced on your back
He watched you trace a path in the valleys
and the caverns of his fist
And sometimes this even helped his hands
to stop shaking for a while

 

 

 

TELL ME A STORY ABOUT OUR FATHER

Our father came back from the dead in the shape of a fox
He crept past your window but you didn’t see
He passed over the garden gate and down
to the center of the city but you didn’t see that either
The city was quiet      The iron rain had finally ended
There was nobody to see and nobody to talk to but
there was one man sitting alone in front of a church
and his body was all covered up with such dust
There was nothing bright left in the city but the blood
on the temple of the man who was covered with dust
Our father the fox saw the man and waived his tail
Then the man’s blood was not the brightest thing anymore

 

 

 

 

 

Sara Biggs Chaney received her Ph.D. in English in 2008 and currently teaches first-year and upper-level writing in Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. Her most recent chapbook, _Ann Coulter’s Letter to the Young Poets_, was released from dancing girl press in November, 2014. Sara’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Whiskey Island, The Normal School, Hotel Amerika, Thrush Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She is the poetry editor for Split Lip Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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