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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact [email protected].

In 2018, we invited twelve guest editors to each curate a month of Poem-a-Day. This new direction for the series provides an opportunity to involve poets with wide-ranging expertise and editorial perspectives. Learn more about our 2018 guest editors and read the poems they curated.

Self as Goat in Tree

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, October 17, 2018.
About this Poem 

“One night after yet another round of disheartening eleven o’clock news, I tried to clear my mind by staring at the Goats in Trees calendar above my desk—a dozen nannies perched precariously in a thorny and semi-dead argan tree so insanely cute and outwardly content that I found myself laughing. Growing up, I was told with worrisome frequency that I was as stubborn as a goat, a true Capricorn. Here they were, on every page, my sisters, promising to carry me through the year. Then, as I started reading about the economics of argan oil, how growing demand benefits Moroccan communities but also poses significant concerns about forest sustainability and animal mistreatment, things got complicated. They always do. I don’t know what to do with my lovely goats anymore.”
—Mihaela Moscaliuc

Self as Goat in Tree

Nine goats scamper up
the gnarly argan tree and graze it clean.
They ingest the wrinkled fruit whole,
though it’s the bitter pulp alone
that rouses their appetite for more.
Sated, they stare at the horizon
till branches wear thin and fall.
Farmers harvest goats’ droppings
to extract the pit rich in kernels of oil. 
Haven’t you too wished yourself a goat
perched punch-drunk on a linden tree,
blasé about the gold you might shit,
how it might serve both hunger and greed.
Haven’t you goaded yourself
to balance just a bit longer, 
chew on some fugitive scents,
forget what a ditch the earth is.

Copyright © 2018 by Mihaela Moscaliuc. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 17, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Mihaela Moscaliuc. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 17, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.