Ryan Wilson

                 November 2016

It is creeping across

                                                                the withered backcountry.Where grim fogs graze hills                                                                and gray mists hauntthe hollows that hug                                                                our forsaken highways,it lurches through thickets,                                                                downs leaves, downs limbs.It strips the bronze stalks                                                                of the harvest, it stealsthe firstling of the flock                                                                to gladden its feeding.In a ditch by our fence                                                                they found Doc’s daughter.The balefires burn.                                                                Others are butchered.Groped by our grief,                                                                in the grizzled airwe have shrieked lamentations,                                                                longing for a lawto punish the predator                                                                and make firm a peace.All the high councils                                                                have condemned the creature,and still it stands                                                                astride the countrycruel as winter,                                                                the cold’s own kinsman.The nightly news                                                                repeats its nothing;our Facebook friends                                                                cry wolf, unfollow us.It shakes its iron                                                                shackles in the shadows,it rattles its wrench                                                                over the roof gables,in the darkness outside                                                                our doors, it dances,and will not wander                                                                from the farms it has wasted,the monstrous changeling,                                                                unchosen, our child.

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Ryan Wilson is the editor of Literary Matters and the author of The Stranger World (Measure Press, 2017), winner of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, First Things, Five Points, the Hopkins Review, New Criterion, Yale Review, and Best American Poetry. He teaches at the Catholic University of America.

The Sewanee Review

Fall 2018

Sewanee, Tennessee

University of the South

Adam Ross

Managing Editor & Poetry Editor
Eric Smith

Assistant Editors
Hellen Wainaina
Jennie Vite

Founded in 1892 by the teacher and critic William Peterfield Trent, the Sewanee Review is the longest-running literary quarterly in America. The SR has published many of the twentieth century’s great writers, including T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Wallace Stevens, Saul Bellow, Katherine Anne Porter, Marianne Moore, Seamus Heaney, Hannah Arendt, and Ezra Pound. The Review has a long tradition of cultivating emerging talent, from excerpts of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor’s first novels to the early poetry of Robert Penn Warren, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and Christian Wiman. “Whatever the new literature turns out to be,” wrote editor Allen Tate in 1944, “ it will be the privilege of the Sewanee Review to print its share of it, to comment on it, and to try to understand it.” The mission remains unchanged.

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