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  • Poem of the Day: The Strange People
    All night I am the doe, breathing   
    his name in a frozen field,
    the small mist of the word
    drifting always before me.

    And again he has heard it   
    and I have gone burning   
    to meet him, the jacklight   
    fills my eyes with blue fire;   
    the heart in my chest
    explodes like a hot stone.

    Then slung like a sack
    in the back of his pickup,
    I wipe the death scum
    from my mouth, sit up laughing   
    and shriek in my speeding grave.

    Safely shut in the garage,
    when he sharpens his knife
    and thinks to have me, like that,
    I come toward him,
    a lean gray witch
    through the bullets that enter and dissolve.

    I sit in his house
    drinking coffee till dawn
    and leave as frost reddens on hubcaps,
    crawling back into my shadowy body.
    All day, asleep in clean grasses,
    I dream of the one who could really wound me.   
    Not with weapons, not with a kiss, not with a look.   
    Not even with his goodness.

    If a man was never to lie to me. Never lie me.
    I swear I would never leave him.

    Louise Erdrich, &ldquo;The Strange People&rdquo; from <em>Original Fire: Selected and New Poems.</em> Copyright &copy; 2003 by Louise Erdrich. Reprinted with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

    Source: <em>Original Fire: Selected and New Poems</em>(HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2003)

    Louise Erdrich

    More poems by this author


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