By Susan Kinsolving Susan Kinsolving
Trust that there is a tiger, muscular
Tasmanian, and sly, which has never been
seen and never will be seen by any human
eye. Trust that thirty thousand sword-
fish will never near a ship, that far
from cameras or cars elephant herds live
long elephant lives. Believe that bees
by the billions find unidentified flowers
on unmapped marshes and mountains. Safe
in caves of contentment, bears sleep.
Through vast canyons, horses run while slowly
snakes stretch beyond their skins in the sun.
I must trust all this to be true, though
the few birds at my feeder watch the window
with small flutters of fear, so like my own.

Source: Poetry (May 2003).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

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May 2003
 Susan  Kinsolving


Born in Elmhurst, Illinois, poet Susan Kinsolving earned a BA at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MFA at the California Institute of the Arts.

Kinsolving’s poetry uses dark humor, rhyme, and received form to explore loss, family, ephemera, and the natural world. In the New York Times, poet Carol Muske-Dukes praised its “powerful and practiced repertory of formal gestures, including a startling backhand of wit and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Refrain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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