It includes the butterfly and the rat, the shit

By Marianne Boruch b. 1950 Marianne Boruch
It includes the butterfly and the rat, the shit   
drying to chalk, trees   
falling at an angle, taking those moist   
and buried rootballs with them   

into deadly air. But someone will   
tell you the butterfly's the happy ending   
of every dirge-singing worm, the rat   
a river rat come up from a shimmering depth,   

the shit passed purely into scat one can read   
for a source, the creature that shadowed it one   
longish minute. And trees, of course they   
wanted to fall. It was their time or something   

equally sonorous. And wind too knows its   
mindless little whirlpool's not for nothing, not   
nothing—that pitch and rage stopped. How else   
does the sparrow's neck break.

Source: Poetry (June 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2008
 Marianne  Boruch


Poet and essayist Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including, most recently, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (2016); Cadaver, Speak (2014); The Book of Hours (2011), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Grace, Fallen from (2008); and Poems: New & Selected (2004). Her memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (2011), concerns a hitchhiking trip she took in 1971. In the Blue . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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