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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Patricia Monaghan

East Wall Detail – Detroit Industry Murals – Diego Rivera



Evening.  Red sky.  Standing at the door
I sense a shadow presence here:
the one who loved this land before.
These harmless hills bear scars of war.
Someone stood here, full of fear.
This is not a metaphor.
Above me, turkey vultures soar;
below the garden, seven deer.
Someone loved this land before,
loved it as I do, maybe more.
She did not simply disappear
and she is not a metaphor:
This was some woman’s home before
pale soldiers came to clear
a land that someone loved before.
What to do with facts like this? Ignore
them?  Hope they disappear?
Someone loved this land before.

None of this is metaphor.


Author Biography

Patricia Monaghan is a Founding Fellow of Black Earth Institute and the author of four books of poetry, most recently Homefront (WordTech Press), a thematic collection on the impact of war on families.  She has won a Pushcart Prize and the Paul Gruchow Nature Writing Award.  This poem was previously published in the chapbook Grace of Ancient Land (Voices of the American Land Series).


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