In the spring the men come out again to clear
the land, yellow Cat dozers popping up on hillsides

like morels to be collected after the first warm days
of May. In fields studded with the rhinestone glitter

of purple knapweed, trucks nose aside whatever lingers
too long in the path: stones laid down by a glacier’s

swollen body, a rain-washed pair of child’s underwear,
white-spangled fawn fresh from the belly of before-this-world.

Untouched? No such thing. Scoured clean and dirtied up again, laid
to rest only to have the soil peeled back from the jaw bone.

What hasn’t been repopulated by trespassers, colonized
from the inside out? No wonder my body wants to do

the work it was always meant to, spiraling deep within itself
to make from this wildness something that belongs here.


Writer and editor Keetje Kuipers (pronounced Kay-tcha Ky-pers) is the author of three books of poems, all from BOA Editions. Her first book, Beautiful in the Mouth, was selected by Thomas Lux as the winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Named one of the top ten debut poetry books of 2010 by Poets & Writers, her first book also appeared in the top ten on the contemporary poetry bestseller list. Her second collection, The Keys to the Jail (2014), was a book club selection for The Rumpus, and her third book, All Its Charms (2019), was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and includes poems honored by publication in both The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies.