Poem by Barbara Smith

Eyewear is glad to welcome Barbara Smith (pictured) this Friday. I met Smith recently in Galway, where we both read, and enjoyed the conversation. Born in Dublin in 1967, her work has appeared in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland, in journals such as Borderlands Texas Poetry Review, Garm Lu, Agenda, nthposition, The SHOp and west47online. A chapbook, Poetic Stage came out in 1998, and a collection, Kairos, is forthcoming.

Trench Monument

It wasn’t the flies so much as the reek
caught downwind that giddied passers by.

The lush green of new moulted shoots
smoothed the vale down to the river.

Behind, a stand of pines on the crown of the hill.
The buzzing became an engine purring

closer towards the hill crest.
Carcass caverns loomed stark lying

as they had done, in November permafrost.
But now, in spring, white maggots blindly crept

from thawing flesh remnants, writhing, vying
for their own stale warmth, feeding the biomass,

reducing the remains to a future fossil.
Particles of dust, carbon atoms:

emissions in a shell-shocked future.

poem by Barbara Smith

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