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Cynthia Belmont


Listen to Cynthia Belmont read this poem:

Tick Season

April: the grass is green with need,
the forest shivers with beetles at dusk,
brown wings ticking in the old leaves
festooned with spiders whose eyes
will glow all over the yard at night
come summer.  We’ve headed in

and lit our winter lamps.  The lake breeze
is gentle as a white lie.  Now the snow
is gone again, everything is easier
but the body, its crawling skin
that remembers this was once forest too,
where the house is, where the grass lives. 

When the season digs in, it is a secret at first,
tight as an apple bud, brown as a seed
planted in the furrow behind my ear
where the earlobe meets the jaw hinge,
that soft mere suggestion of skin
a red stain on the lips of spring.



Listen to Cynthia Belmont read this poem:

In Vivo

some animals are sleeping
in the white iced tree
like an x-ray of a breathing lung
secret roots splayed
packing thumbnail maps
of skeletons curled around
skulls tight as nutshells
whorled horns of plenty
animals locked                      
in the strongbox of waiting
the mice with their scrapbooks
and hand-stitched adages
the frogs with their hearts of palm



Cynthia Belmont is associate professor of English at Northland College, an environmental liberal arts college in northern Wisconsin. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including Poetry, The Cream City Review, Iris, and Eclipse. She lives in Ashland, Wisconsin.
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