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poet

Heather Derr-Smith

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Heather Derr-Smith

Heather Derr-Smith was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1971 and spent most of her childhood in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She received a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of Tongue Screw (Sparkwheel Press, 2016), The Bride Minaret (University of Akron Press, 2008), and Each End of the World (Main Street Rag Press, 2005).

by this poet

poem

Birds pulse above the blood-black line of horizon.
I walk out through the sliding glass door into the backyard,

hoarfrost on the fallen leaves like thrush on a baby’s tongue.

Over the chain-link fence, three bald eagles fight for their kill
on the train tracks. My brother writes a postcard

poem

The hunters drove through town doing eighty,
the bodies of wolves tied in cruciform
to the hoods of their trucks.

The Pink Lady Slippers in the woods
hung like carcasses on hooks and the lights of ranches
twinkled in the valley below. We could hear,
with a kind of clairaudience, the

poem

Sometimes I return to my mother’s childhood home, believing
I can reclaim it.

Mists rise up off the frozen creek
and the red star of Betelgeuse blinks out.

Pools of snowmelt glitter
violet as the Wyoming iolite. This is her territory