Clade Song 9


Mud and puzzlegrass and plastic bags—and you, somewhere off the little dock
Under dark water. Last spring I saw you ferry a dead fish in your mouth, proud of that
Swollen dull-white carcass, its stench and sunken eye. In winter, your house, a
Knotted mound of reeds, pushes up through ice. Whether you descend or briefly
Rise toward what sustains you—snails and crayfish, cattails and water-lilies—
All your acts proceed mostly submerged, just like the life of heart and mind.
The man beside me on the shore that day a stranger still, even to himself.




Henrietta Goodman is the author of three books of poetry: All That Held Us, a sonnet-sequencepublished by BkMk Press in 2018 as winner of the John Ciardi Prize; Hungry Moon, published by Colorado State University in 2013; and Take What You Want, which won the Beatrice Hawley Award from Alice James Books in 2006. Her poems in this issue are part of a collaboration with the poet Ryan Scariano consisting of dual-alphabets of acrostic poems contemplating intersections of the human and non-human animal worlds. She teaches at the University of Montana and at Texas Tech University and lives in Missoula, Montana.