Narrative Magazine tabbed our wonderful Lauren Moseley, Algonquin’s Assistant Marketing Manager and poet-in-residence, in its Fifth Annual Poetry Contest. Lauren placed third, and Narrative has published all five of the poems she entered. The poems illustrate Lauren’s profound thoughtfulness, keen eye and facility with language. (She’s got game!)
Here’s one she’s particularly proud of:
The Woods Within
Your home is a pine forest, given
to lightning fires, to needle blankets
and smoke skies. Seed cones drip pitch
down to fern spores while thin saplings
fight for sun. Blight has taken the ironwood
and beech, the storybook oaks.
In spring, candles shoot from your scales.
To sleep here.
Or, to break from earth
if your roots are shallow.
Beneath the broad-bladed
grass: a worm song.
Those old beeches, their limbs
staggered like hart horns,
they were roped,
the oaks frilled with an ax.
Your bark ripples
as the winds gust.
When the rope and the blade and the coming train,
when your grain is twisted, skin ugly, elephantine,
when you haven’t the courage to hang to cut to jump
but instead lie without living, you ask if God,
as many times as you’ve been spared, has ever interfered.
Remember how you prayed as the tornado approached
and sidestepped your home. The brittle pine frames
of your windows, the billowing wood paneling
on your walls—how are you today, in the same room,
safe and warm? In time, this house will fall like timber
whether or not you’re rooted to the bed.
Despite every weakness you’ve ever felt,
it is up to you to save yourself.