Maura Shuttleworth, 1986
Dizziness and Shudder
Like a footsore cowgirl dragging a saddle,
my daughter comes from school. You've got
snuff-breath, she says, kissing my cheek.
With acrylics, she spreads out a deathscape:
a pewter cottonwood, snow falling in whorls,
a brain-colored Wolfhound chewing grass.
I think this is the true way Pup died
of bloat, she tells me, and brushes in
a sun the color of bloody bedclothes.
This poem first appeared in Mississippi Valley Review, edited by John Mann, in the Fall/Winter 1985-1986 issue.