By Liz Beasely Liz Beasely
Clouds thin into form: a hawk
pulling a tail of rings—beads
of an abacus, the mathematics
of light—a lengthening spine,
snakeskin no longer inhabited.
All day I'm giving a name
for what isn't there. Yet somewhere
we've left our likeness, the hollow
shapes of us. Even though the snake
has slipped into the shade,
the shed skin, deceptively whole,
hidden in the sun-flecked grass,
remembers what it once held.

Source: Poetry (May 2001).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

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May 2001


Liz Beasley earned her M.F.A. at Bowling Green State and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia. Her work has appeared in Epoch, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Passages North, among other magazines. She was awarded a Richard Devine fellowship in the summer of 2000.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Nature, Living, Animals

Poetic Terms Imagery, Metaphor

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