May/June 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 3 Nature’s Nature |

O Come & Let Me Tell Thee How Wholly I Am Thine

Is this the forest primeval? I ask the sugar pines, walking among them, the ship-high firs with waistcoats of fire-scar, the shimmering alder, the laddered shadow of bracken fern. But would the woods know themselves this way? Do these trees shudder now as neighboring acre after acre burns and turns the barred earth between their shadows ochre? The mind grasps so little of itself, its Saint Elmo’s fire, its Marianas, murmurations and forgotten heartwood. Ash-light and autumn make my sleep strange. The brain gets down on all fours, scratching at all the doors it’s invented for itself. In bed, a blanket of smoke-scent, I dream of Longfellow’s wife, how, sealing envelopes of her daughter’s curls with the red kiss of wax she lit her dress afire, and wind through the window swirled her body into a pillar of flame on which Longfellow, clutching her, singed his arms and face, and thereafter grew a beard, carr

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Corrie Williamson is the author of the poetry collections The River Where You Forgot My Name (Crab Orchard Series/Southern Illinois University Press, 2019), a finalist for the Montana Book Award, and Sweet Husk (Perugia Press, 2014). Her recent work appears or is forthcoming in Southern Review, Common, Copper Nickel, and 32 Poems. Williamson lives in Montana, where she is working on her third manuscript, Your Mother’s Bear Gun.

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Mercy Me

By Corrie Williamson

Is this the forest primeval? I ask the sugar pines, walking among them, the ship-high firs with waistcoats of fire-scar, the shimmering alder, the laddered shadow of bracken fern. But […]

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