• Heorot

    Ryan Wilson

    Fall 2018

    November 2016


    It is creeping across

    the withered backcountry.

    Where grim fogs graze hills

    and gray mists haunt

    the hollows that hug

    our forsaken highways,

    it lurches through thickets,

    downs leaves, downs limbs.

    It strips the bronze stalks

    of the harvest, it steals

    the 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 air

    we have shrieked lamentations,

    longing for a law

    to punish the predator

    and make firm a peace.

    All the high councils

    have condemned the creature,

    and still it stands

    astride the county,

    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 appears widely in periodicals such as Birmingham Poetry Review, First Things, Five Points, the Hopkins Review, the New Criterion, the Yale Review, and Best American Poetry. He teaches at the Catholic University of America.

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