May/June 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 3 Nature's Nature |

Little Monster, Masterpiece

In the sun, I scorch, dizzy. It's a danger day—the new phrase for when being outdoorscan burn you dead. And imagine: She'll have her fathers golden, resilient skin (but my strong chin), assembling a baby of best parts. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein shivering, The Year Without Summer, while volcanic ash encircled the earth in shadow. A sharp crust of frost covered all crops, ruining corn in America, wrecking Asia's rice fields. Farmers foraged for nettles, then people ate clay, then theythemselves froze. In this year's atmosphere—blazing afternoons when laborers are warnednot to work, when childrenmay not play outside— I also select words. Try saying nursery, not unfurnished room, referring to the empty space in our house, redeeming it. Shelley salvaged a few hundred pages, a great book, from the bodies of the tens of thousandsclimate killed. She warned against the monsters humans can create,and made her masterpiece. As many women still try to do. One

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Rose McLarney
Rose McLarney has published two collections of poems, Its Day Being Gone (Penguin Books)—winner of the National Poetry Series—and The Always Broken Plates of Mountains (Four Way Books). She is assistant professor of creative writing at Auburn University and poetry editor of Southern Humanities Review. Rose has been awarded fellowships from Bread Loaf, MacDowell Colony, Sewanee, Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, and the Darmouth Poet in Residence program at the Frost Place.

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