In the backyard –          

Clair Dunlap


where the raccoons teach their babies
to fish, thin black fingers dipping
into the water & hoping for
the silber of slick bass;
where in the dark the ferns &
the lavender & the huckleberry &
the oregon grape all look like one thing, one
shadow both soft & thorny;
where i used to mix up spells with
the madrona bark and pond water;
where we all used to roll the logs over
on their sides like heaving, pregnant animals,
to see the birth of juicy worms & pebbles
of potato bugs squirm;
where i hold your hand now and watch
the smoke of the grill behind us
and know there is hardly anything
or anywhere better than this
blue quiet. 



Clair Dunlap grew up just outside Seattle, WA, and now lives, writes, and teaches preschool in Minneapolis. She is the author of In the Plum Dark Belly, released by Beard Poetry in October 2016. She wants to be a librarian & read books with your kids. Her work can be found in The Harpoon Review, Souvenir, The Fem and more. She is a social media editor for Vagabond City, where you can catch her writing instagram posts. 

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