Anne Shaw

Anne Shaw is the author of Undertow, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize, and Dido in Winter forthcoming from Persea Books in 2013. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Harvard Review, Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, Crab Orchard Review, and New American Writing. Also a visual artist, she is currently a graduate student of writing and sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work can be found online at


             Voices drift across the the lawn
and form in the shapes of clovers. A slight breeze
             bezels the fishpond, lens
                          of grainy light, black

             cord covered with electric tape. Kneel
on concrete. Tile, sedge.

                        Koi ghost out
           to meet you, blunt-
                          edged hunger curving
                 blindly up.

Take this bract that rises and subsides.

                        Butterscotch or red and white,
                                               their bodies slick
                                   as sorrow, lathered
                     with the cold, unseemly weed.

             Elsewhere, there's a party.
    Clink of glasses, square of kitchen light.

               Elsewhere, a pair of pliers
              its implicate beak.
                                    A hooded sweatshirt
    gestures from the bottom of a lake.

Here, put these on. You're going to need
            the leather gloves I tossed off in the shed.

Speech is just an instrument to register
the night. I offer

                you no hook, no tool,
                nothing to make fast

no metal implement with which to cut or mend.


Originally published in Black Warrior Review, Issue 36, No. 2. Forthcoming in Dido in Winter (Persea Books, 2013).

Photograph by Alane Spinney. Used with permission

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