Animal Passion

by Tanis MacDonald

Tanis MacDonald is the author of three books of poetry, including Rue the Day (Turnstone Press). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in CV2Prairie FirePRISM International, Canthius, Our Times, and Poetry is Dead, and in the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2015. She writes and watches fauna in Waterloo, Ontario.

 

Moths drink the tears of sleeping birds,* and
black bears run from dragonflies. Mule deer
read Jane Austen when they can’t get George Eliot,
and a wolverine is thriftier than you’d think. Badgers
babysit, and ants will dance all night and bring
the party back to their place. Good luck getting
that deposit back. The longer a swamp sparrow’s
at a feeder, the more her head can be turned by
a weeping steel guitar. It takes the better
part of six months for a roadkilled coyote to go
from a bump in the road to a divot in the asphalt,
and only three months from divot into pothole.
This isn’t what we mean when we talk about
the high cost of dying, but you could be home
now listening to your furnace rumble to life,
collecting drinking straws for the moths. You
could be a divot. You could be a tear.

 

  • The first line is taken from Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby

 


Tanis MacDonald is the author of three books of poetry, including Rue the Day (Turnstone Press). Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in CV2Prairie FirePRISM International, Canthius, Our Times, and Poetry is Dead, and in the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2015. She writes and watches fauna in Waterloo, Ontario.

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