Vox Populi

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Matthew Thorburn: Cicada


Where do the bees go in winter,

their hives shuttered in ice?

When spring rains tear down

the spider’s web, she strings up

another. It seems the same

cicadas sing in the willow leaves

each year. In spring they rise

from the dirt. When Lao Wen

died, great-grandmother placed

a jade cicada on his tongue.

You are my salt, she said

though she was already alone—

angry and alone beside

dark Lake Tai. East wind

blows, swallows come home.

Now he will stay at Lake Tai

forever. Blackened by fire

the cicada slips into her pocket:

still warm, starting to sing


Matthew Thorburn’s manuscript A Green River in Spring won the 2014 Coal Hill Review Chapbook Award.


One comment on “Matthew Thorburn: Cicada

  1. sarasallydavis
    December 19, 2014

    Beautiful and poignant. I love the transition to the personal intertwining of grief, loss and then to life in her pocket. So much here. I love it.


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This entry was posted on December 19, 2014 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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