by Laura Donnelly

On my back
my ears underwater
but not
my mouth    my breath tuned

a strange subterranean –

I think this is what it sounds like
in my head

just air at the back of the throat
and the heart’s wet thud

I can’t hear the dredge    the birds
at the fence –


it is easy to forget
parched lips    or
not forget

but our mouths   tipping orange
legs    drifting

the heron’s world without


LAURA DONNELLY’S second poetry collection, Midwest Gothic, was selected by Maggie Smith for the 2019 Snyder Prize at Ashland Poetry Press. Donnelly is also the author of Watershed (Cider Press Review 2014), and her poems have appeared in Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Harvard Review, PANK, and elsewhere. Originally from Michigan, she lives in Upstate New York and is on the creative writing faculty at SUNY Oswego.

Photo: “héron cendré dans les récoltes” by Jean Pierre Pron