She of the Rescue Centre Answered
first thing—Someone is poisoning magpies. Keep the bodiesout of the freezer. We’ll study their livers.People suck! she said, hanging up. But the Indigenous Eldercould have told me that.On the wall, a poster. Bogong moths roosting in vacant caves,loving the cool air. Migrations go haywire in drought.Another call: someone’s hit a roo.The joey’s sweet but going crazy on the sunporch.This afternoon, okay. We’ll come by.She still could be shaking her head. Bloody drivers.It’s the glare, she thinks aloud. They could not see to see.Dickinson wrote nearly exactly that tonail down a last moment, just after And thenthe windows failed I can’t tell cause from effect,one overlay from another.As for the magpies, their livers surely tried to clear, to strainthe poison. Fast or slow, the birds, I bet—how many?—flew just fine for a while in screechy loops.Then to fall, to try up again. And failing.Shiny black/white feathers run aground near the roses...Most raucous caroling in the garden, silent for once.Is that what alerted the caller? Behind the house,a sudden. It was vast.
“She of the Rescue Center Answered” from BESTIARY DARK: by Marianne Boruch.
Published by Copper Canyon Press on October 12, 2021.
Copyright © 2021 by Marianne Boruch.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Marianne Boruch’s work includes eleven books of poems, among them Bestiary Dark, The Anti-Grief and Cadaver, Speak (Copper Canyon 2021, 2019, 2014); four essay collections (from Michigan and Trinity, and one out next year from Northwestern University Press); two memoirs, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana, 2011) and, forthcoming from Copper Canyon, The Figure Going Imaginary made of notes taken in Gross Human Anatomy (aka the “cadaver lab”) and a Life Drawing class from which the poems in Cadaver, Speak were drawn. Her honors include the Kingsley-Tufts Award for The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon, 2011) plus fellowships/residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, MacDowell, Yaddo, two national parks (Denali and Isle Royale) and two Fulbright Scholarships (University of Edinburgh and University of Canberra—Australia.) Her work appears in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, APR, The London Review of Books, and elsewhere.
Boruch taught at Purdue University for 33 years where she established the MFA Program in Creative Writing, going rogue and emeritus in 2018. Since 1987, she’s been on faculty in the low-residency Graduate Writing Program at Warren Wilson College, where she continues. In spring 2022, she was the Jennifer Jahrling Forsee Writer-in-Residence at Colby College in Waterville, Maine where students rewrote the poems in Bestiary Dark into a very strange black-box theater production.
“Written with unabashed awe… Boruch keeps her touch light and self-deprecating as the world that the poems describe disappears, or has already been destroyed by the bush fires…shortly after her time there. … But she believes that to ‘recollect is to rescue,/ to invite back the plain astonishments.’ These poems offer delights and fascinations at every turn.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“She sees and considers with intensity. Her poems often give fresh examples of how rare and thrilling it can be to notice.”
“Boruch displays a quietly gymnastic intellect in the examinations of art, the body, and the human condition.”