Alone one morning,
Pride, that fickle wandering
to track, shows up at my door
for particulars: hearts of small mammals,
for strength; handfuls of fennel to settle
the rage in her belly;
water nearly freezing, to drink, to rub
on her face and neck, stretch and
wake the unknowably old skin there.
These are necessities I keep
in stock, always on reserve, unsure
when she’ll come. She wants
me to move fast getting her the things she needs,
I want to do her good, be gentle, keep her
safe not scared
because for all the wildness, she is frail and
fragile, made of cracks, folds,
brittle branches of bones wrapped up
in cotton layers.
I feed her for hours.
It is like dropping blades of grass down a well.
Next day, she stands
pale in brown dirt while I watch.
She catches a bird in her
bare hand without trying – it lands
right on her. Must be something
coaxing in her voice, some honey,
a scent on her hair. She turns, looks
at me as if to say It is easy, darling,
It can be easy.
Robyn Campbell is relatively new to poetry, having instead studied Fiction Writing at the University of Pittsburgh, where she recently received her BA. Her story "Nashville" appeared in the university's publication The Original Thought. She is currently living in Philadelphia, PA, and enjoying writing without deadlines.
This piece was selected by guest editor Laura E. Davis. Laura E. Davis is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the City of Champions. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry and nonfiction at Chatham University. She has read her poetry on the weekly radio show Prosody. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Splinter Generation, Redactions, Meadowland Review, The Ante Review, Pear Noir!, and dotdotdash. She teaches gifted education for a local charter school and is the Founding Editor of Weave Magazine.