Incantation for a Vanished Visitor

Whose hand unleashed the hex that sent
you speeding from this soil’s silt & shine,

from birch light & oak light & sweet gum & maple?
What chorus of creatures called you elsewhere,

extending your range so our alley’s off your patrol,
nights no longer brimful of bark & yip, the good

news of your gekkering? These days rabbits
wheel free in their warrens, Norway rats

gad about. Where are you now
with that dentition designed to grip prey,

skulking low to the ground, furtive & feline
along ragged trails & truncated streams,

all haze & hurry in switch grasss, little bluestem,
wild rye? As the sky turns auburn & ochre & dusky

merlot, accept this entreaty, summons, appeal—
I’ll offer the little I have in my quiver,

silver powder, crow feather & cracked runestone.
From the varied meadow remember the winter

our deck was your den. May your kin travel
safe beneath the perishing air, the twitchy bough.

Jane Satterfield

Jane Satterfield

Jane Satterfield is the recipient of awards in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bellingham Review, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Mslexia, and more. Her books of poetry are Her Familiars, Assignation at Vanishing Point, Shepherdess with an Automatic, and Apocalypse Mix, winner of the 2016 Autumn House Poetry Prize; her nonfiction includes the book Daughters of Empire: A Memoir of a Year in Britain and Beyond and recent essays in Ascent, DIAGRAM, Entropy, and Tupelo Quarterly. New poems may be found in Ecotone, Hopkins Review, Missouri Review, Orion, and more. She is married to poet Ned Balbo and lives in Baltimore.
Jane Satterfield

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Author: Jane Satterfield

Jane Satterfield is the recipient of awards in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bellingham Review, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Mslexia, and more. Her books of poetry are Her Familiars, Assignation at Vanishing Point, Shepherdess with an Automatic, and Apocalypse Mix, winner of the 2016 Autumn House Poetry Prize; her nonfiction includes the book Daughters of Empire: A Memoir of a Year in Britain and Beyond and recent essays in Ascent, DIAGRAM, Entropy, and Tupelo Quarterly. New poems may be found in Ecotone, Hopkins Review, Missouri Review, Orion, and more. She is married to poet Ned Balbo and lives in Baltimore.