Clade Song 2


O Brenda
We saw a lamb
on a spit for you today
and took pictures
saw its bared teeth
and arms tied
and a battery-powered turner
saw it turn
oh and loved its half-bakedness
for you
O Brenda.

And our kitten Artemis
sits on one particular rock
on our rock staircase today
sits for no reason
but lovely
teeming with bugs
though Geoff bathed her in the sink
entirely against her will
though we picked off
two ticks stuck
in her hard
and ugly.

And a ship pulls in its sails
wraps them around themselves
in turn
and pulls into the harbor
O Brenda
If you could see it.


Cowles Kathryn Cowles is an Assistant Professor of English at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, where she teaches poetry to college students, some of whom like poetry and some of whom do not. She tries to get all of them to like it. She is currently “with child.” Said child is a girl who likes to kick Cowles’s belly button from the inside of said belly. This looks funny from the outside . . . said child (daughter) has now arrived in May. Cowles’s first book of poems, Eleanor, Eleanor, not your real name, won the Brunsman Prize and was published by Bear Star Press in 2008. She has recent and forthcoming poems in Word for/ Word, drunken boat, Interim, Bombay Gin, Forklift: Ohio, Colorado Review, and Versal.