Surrogate

Alexandrine Vo

Drenched in the dampness from its mother,
its feathers were flat before softening.
It slipped through a fissure
where the hens had slept. We could hear its peeps
from where it had fallen. Alone
it stood, trembling before rejection.
Father gave it to me as a new pet and I welcomed it
into the private quiet of my days.
I cradled it in my arms, breathing dirt-scent,
smoothing spindrifts of plume.I gave it a name. Watched it grow.
Watched it peck rice out of my palm
with that animal-knowing
that consumed without injury.
It would come running when I called to it, teaching me
love with inhuman allegiance.
Young friend, the wind conveys, even the best of our loves die.
Opening my ears to the dark,
now I listen for soft-pronged footfalls
on gravel. Call out to sounds of crackling twigs.

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Alexandrine Vo’s poems have been published in England, Ireland, France, and the U.S., appearing in Salamander, Poetry Ireland Review, Popshot Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, CALYX, The Bitter Oleander, and Fjords Review, among others.

American Poetry Review

July/August 2018

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Editors: Elizabeth Scanlon

The American Poetry Review is dedicated to reaching a worldwide audience with a diverse array of the best contemporary poetry and literary prose. APR also aims to expand the audience interested in poetry and literature, and to provide authors, especially poets, with a far-reaching forum in which to present their work.

APR has continued uninterrupted publication of The American Poetry Review since 1972, and has included the work of over 1,500 writers, among whom there are nine Nobel Prize laureates and thirty-three Pulitzer Prize winners.

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