Matthew Landrum is poetry editor of Structo Magazine. His poems and translations have recently appeared in PANK, The Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Notre Dame Review. “Mortling” recently appeared as a 1x1 inch illustrated mini-book available at www.darkoakbindery.com. He lives in Detroit.
Photo credit: Kurt Simonson
in the winter grass, flies droning about its still form,
one eye pecked to a bloody root by carrion birds,
its coat may still be salvageable. Shorn of curled fleece,
the cold sheepskin will reveal itself—grey and inelastic,
shot through with purple veining. The head will loll
when the body is flipped to reach the remaining wool.
No sense letting it molder in the Atlantic mists,
scatter in clumps among the stones, or snag on barbed wire.
Lanolin that could not keep out privation, disease
will hold in the heat of a new body. Deft hands can knit
socks, scarves, sweaters from the last gleanings of animal life,
but pull a thread and they will unravel, unskein, unspindle
to seafog, sunlight, lichened rock, starved grass.
Poem read by E. Nerys.
Binding by Christine Darragh
Art by Margaret Neblock