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Fifteen

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The boys who fled my father's house in fear
Of what his wrath would cost them if he found
Them nibbling slowly at his daughter's ear,
Would vanish out the back without a sound,
And glide just like the shadow of a crow,
To wait beside the elm tree in the snow.
Something quite deadly rumbled in his voice.
He sniffed the air as if he knew the scent
Of teenage boys, and asked, "What was that noise?"
Then I'd pretend to not know what he meant,
Stand mutely by, my heart immense with dread,
As Father set the traps and went to bed.

Reprinted from The Alarming Beauty of the Sky, published by Red Hen Press, 2005, by permission of the author. Copyright © 1998 by Leslie Monsour.
Source: The Alarming Beauty of the Sky (Red Hen Press, 1998)
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Fifteen

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  •  
    Poet Leslie Monsour was born in Hollywood, California, but grew up in Mexico City, Chicago, and Panama. She attended Scripps College in Claremont, California, and the Canal Zone College in Panama, and earned a BA in English literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she also minored in Hispanic literature. She is the author of the letterpress edition Indelibility (1999); the chapbooks Earth’s Beauty, Desire, & Loss (1998) and Travel Plans (2001); and the full-length The Alarming Beauty of the Sky (2005).
     
    A skilled practitioner of traditional forms, Monsour often sets her poems in the landscape of Southern California. Her work has been published in the anthologies A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women (1994), New Formalist Poets of the American West (2001), and Visiting Emily: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Emily Dickinson (2001). Monsour and the poet Timothy Steele...

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