March

Jennifer Grotz

Everything was moving, pixilated, snowsplintering down and nestling in the yellow grass.March: a constant darting in the corner of my eyes,time of year the world wants us to lookseveral places at once. And smell: mixture of hay and mud,sunlight on straw, and not a scent but a ticklein the nose while brushing the horseto help him shed his winter coat, the hair fallingin wisps and clumps, inciting the barn swallows'deft descents from the rafters to pick upa single blade of straw, a beakful of hairfor weaving a nest that will be soft and warm.All winter the horse had paid closer attention to methan any human. When I rode him bareback,all I had to do was lookwhere I wanted to go and he could sensefrom my seat all the way up my backthe slight direction my neck had turned.He weighed 953 pounds. To make him stop,all I had to do was hold my breath.

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Photo:
Marion Ettlinger

Jennifer Grotz is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Window Left Open. Also a translator from the French and Polish, her most recent translation is Rochester Knockings, a novel by Tunisian-born writer Hubert Haddad. Her poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, New York Review of Books, Ploughshares, New England Review, and in five volumes of the Best American Poetry anthology. Director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, she teaches at the University of Rochester.

Spring 2020, Number 47

Birmingham, Alabama

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Editor
Adam Vines

Features Editor
Gregory Fraser

Birmingham Poetry Review is a publication of The University of Alabama at Birmingham funded by the Department of English and the College of Arts and Sciences. It was founded by co-editors Robert Collins and Randy Blythe in 1987.

The journal includes original, unpublished work as well as translations. Beginning with Issue 39, BPR has included an interview with a featured poet of national merit as well as several reviews of current collections of poetry.

In past years, the journal has published work by poets of such national merit as Betty Adcock, Daniel Anderson, David Bottoms, Claudia Emerson, Debora Greger, Mark Jarman, David Kirby, Ed Hirsch, Andrew Hudgins, William Logan, Medbh McGuckian, R. T. Smith, Pimone Triplett, and Sidney Wade.

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