“In a field,” by Lauren Hilger

Reading by the author

you began the second person.

You wore your mother’s soft seafoam-green weights for wrists and ankles,

and cold geese flew over a cranberry bog.

Anytime she hurt herself, bumped something, your mother would say y’mutha.

In your yard, there was a dense smell of the hose,

and a farm kitten to whom you fed a meatball. 

The kitten could wrap her paws around your neck,

and the rest of her beat in your hands.

She wanted to be kept, came back, hid under the barbecue

and seemed to say let me be a painstaking part of this

too much trouble to remove.

Boundary is a child’s word (ducking in parentheses.)

Boundlessness hid behind one’s ribs (it seemed.)

Lauren Hilger is the author of Lady Be Good (CCM 2016) and Morality Play, which was chosen for The Possession Sound Reading Series from Poetry NW Editions and will be published Spring 2022. Named a Nadya Aisenberg Fellow in poetry from MacDowell, she has also received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, The Threepenny Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She serves as a poetry editor for No Tokens.

Image: “Spooky Sound and Low Light Exploration” by Bill Cawley

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