“Riding the borrowed cow back home” by Kelli Allen

April 5, 2016

Do not expect me to court forgetfulness, not now
after I have allowed you to hug my grief under
more than a willow. You slept all night

with every window closed and this perishable
body memorized the recklessness
of your stillness. We confessed so little,
but I found this poem in the morning,
and retrieved what pleasures
someone else might have wasted.

I am admitting that there are ragged
words for feeding. Everywhere we long
for some madness agreed upon
when we lost our fathers, when we thanked
night for coming back home, and remembered
too soon our friendship with ruined things


kelliallenKelli Allen’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the US and internationally. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and has won awards for her poetry, prose, and scholarly work. She served as Managing Editor of Natural Bridge, is the current Poetry Editor for The Lindenwood Review, and holds an MFA from the University of Missouri St. Louis. She is the director of the River Styx Hungry Young Poets Series and founded the Graduate Writers Reading Series for UMSL. She is currently a Professor of Humanities and Creative Writing at Lindenwood University and teaches for The Pierre Laclede Honors College at UMSL. Her full-length poetry collection, Otherwise, Soft White Ash, arrived from John Gosslee Books in 2012 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. www.kelli-allen.com

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