Two Poems

by Casey Knott Issue: Spring/Summer 2019

You'd Be Wrong

It’s a dazzling thing, this ice storm
hanging mirrors on every bit of February here,
like some remote castle has just set upon the day,
dripping with jewels and renewal—
you could almost think
these sparkling alleys were clean,
that your bootheels could reach as far as 100 moons,
that this country was not at war with itself.
You could even believe that children were safe
inside their schools.
                               If only that were true.
If only this blue-finned horizon could pool
its quiet in our bones,
break our fever from this spell of carnival mirrors.
The one where ignorance is the price
of citizenship, where old dogs
would have us think our greatest weapon is made
of steel and not our mind.



Pecking Order

I don’t know why I’m so surprised
watching these chickens establish their place
in the order of things—and how true,
the ruffled feathers, the puff of breast, the prance,
the blood on those beaks—
this nature being nature.
For days I’ve introduced this flock in small turns
while the sky has been deciding itself—
sun and gloom, wet as a winter moon.
And now this moment bringing the new—
to vie for their link in this chain
means they must endure the shock of talons,
cornered and beaten down until
they submit, and even then it won’t end—
every morning they will practice
the hierarchy of their bird bodies
in case their bird brains forget.
How can it be so hard to watch these chickens do
what we do?

Casey Knott

Casey Knott received an MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University. She works in education, tends to her urban farm, and helps edit The Wax Paper literary journal. Her book, Ground Work, was released in 2018 from Main Street Rag. Her poetry has appeared in a number of journals, including Harpur Palate, Red Rock Review, White Pelican Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Poetry City, USA.