The streets were glass, the cars and salt-bellied
trucks slid across them—perfect pirouettes

until the light’s red. Beyond the frosted
windows were the animals, and beyond

the animals silence, baled hay like spools
of thread scattered by a careless hand. In

the next season would I become just one
more hillside of purple vetch, unwanted

too-muchness sprung from a gravel pit’s mouth,
dead butterflies in my teeth? There were ten

thousand ditches where I could have lain my
body down. When I saw that early spring

meadowlark—one-winged, flapping in the road—
I pressed my heel to its chest, to the earth.

Keetje Kuipers is the author of two collections of poetry, Beautiful in the Mouth (BOA Editions, 2010) and The Keys to the Jail (BOA, 2014). Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, AGNI, Prairie Schooner, West Branch and Painted Bride Quarterly, among many other journals. A former Stegner Fellow, she is currently an Assistant Professor at Auburn University.