By Claudia Emerson 1957–2014 Claudia Emerson
One rusty horseshoe hangs on a nail
above the door, still losing its luck,
and a work-collar swings, an empty
old noose. The silence waits, wild to be
broken by hoofbeat and heavy
harness slap, will founder but remain;
while, outside, above the stable,
eight, nine, now ten buzzards swing low
in lazy loops, a loose black warp
of patience, bearing the blank sky
like a pall of wind on mourning
wings. But the bones of this place are
long picked clean. Only the hayrake's
ribs still rise from the rampant grasses.

Poem copyright © 1997 by Claudia Emerson Andrews, a 2005 Wytter Bynner Fellow of the Library of Congress. Reprinted from Pharoah, Pharoah (1997) by permission of the author, whose newest book, Late Wife, will appear this fall; both collections are published by Louisiana State University's Southern Messenger Poets.

Source: Pharoah Pharoah (Louisiana State University Press, 1997)

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Poet Claudia Emerson 1957–2014

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Alliteration, Free Verse, Elegy

 Claudia  Emerson


Born and raised in Chatham, Virginia, Claudia Emerson studied writing at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Her poetry, steeped in the Southern Narrative tradition, bears the influences of Ellen Bryant Voigt, Betty Adcock, and William Faulkner. Of the collection Late Wife (2005), poet Deborah Pope observed, “Like the estranged lover in one of her poems who pitches horseshoes in the dark with preternatural precision, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Alliteration, Free Verse, Elegy

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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