Grouse

By Sandra McPherson b. 1943 Sandra McPherson
This water flows dark red   
            from alder tannin:   
boot-stain river   

                        between white rocks.   
            An ouzel, flannel-feathered,   
sips the current up.   

                        Mossgatherers   
            spread their patches   
across a dry, flat turnaround.   

                        They seem embarrassed,   
            want to shelter in the dark.   
A coyote running in broad day;   

                        stumps ruffling   
            with sulphur polypores   
woodsy to the tongue,   

                        woody to teeth. Early   
            yellow leaves paste river to its bed;   
blackberries drop, the last,   

                        many out of taste   
            and strictly smudge.   
Puddles loop in the road:   

                        Bottomland—   
            the foolhen   
waits there for   

                        the fool gun,   
            gray throat-down free in a burst,   
the pose, the afterslump.   

                        Carcass beside spirit.   
            O come to my hand, unkillable;   
whatever continues, continue to approach.

Source: Poetry (March 2006).

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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March 2006
 Sandra  McPherson

Biography

Sandra McPherson weaves vivid images culled from nature into what Contemporary Women Poets contributor David Young characterizes as "rich, complex, and deeply satisfying poems." In collections that include the National Book Award-nominated The Year of Our Birth, 1988's At the Grave of Hazel Hall, and 1996's Edge Effect: Trails and Portrayals, McPherson has increasingly honed her unsentimental, insightful verse, imbuing it with . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Nature, Animals

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