Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Burke’

Fox in the Shard

June 5, 2013 1 comment

by Sarah Burke

We explained to him that if foxes were meant
to be 72 storeys off the ground, they would have
evolved wings.
—Ted Burden, BBC

When the fox appeared, brief spark
of orange in the half-built spire,

the crane driver thought impossible,
mirage. 945 feet above the London streets,

71 flights of stairs, old-fashioned ladder
scaling the rafters, the needle’s tip

open to wind and rain. Who knows what
compelled the fox to climb as the structure

moaned and swayed beneath his weight—
phantom scent of food or sex, moonlight

glinting on the stairs? Just a cub,
six months old, living on scraps the workers

left behind, he flickered and vanished for weeks,
rumor, ghost. They named him Romeo,

trapped him in a steel crate strung with chickens.
Released in the city, they say he glanced back

at the tower looming over the Thames,
touched his paws to foreign concrete, loped away.

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Sarah Burke is an MFA candidate in creative writing and environment at Iowa State University. Besides her first publication in qarrtsiluni‘s “Words of Power” issue, her poems appear or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Copper Nickel, Green Mountains Review and Passages North.

Categories: Animals in the City Tags:


December 1, 2009 5 comments

by Sarah Burke

Say goodnight to the wind and the trees,
apples flinching on the branch; say goodnight
to yourself. Let me lead you back to the well,

the origin, quiet dark you knew once
and forgot. Let me show you the first night
on earth, still happening, still haunting

old star charts buried in the dust, insects
trapped in bottles, embryonic jungles
pulsing under highways, whispering,

let’s rebuild   remake   stand up in our joy
let’s dance the dream our feet remember
sing the dream our throats carried back

from the dead    There comes a memory
of thorns, berry juice deep in the summer.
There comes a memory of letting go,

washing ankles under the cold white moon.
Remember I began in silence, star my mother
carried through peace and war as a child,

star among millions, chosen by chance
to twin without end, carry stars of my own.
I want a beginning deeper than birth,

deeper than history, to search my bones
for one syllable trembling with cosmic storms.
Forgive me. I’ve been terrible and sweet.

Let me forgive you. Let fall your curtains,
your clothes. Let in the wind and the trees again,
apples and branch again, let in the night.

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Sarah Burke is a poet and preschool teacher living in Vermont, where the milkman delivers Ben & Jerry’s to her doorstep every Monday. This is her first publication.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:
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