TWO POEMS by Kerrin McCadden


The sky is at the feeder again.
I mean the indigo bunting
with no bearings for home.
A man pulls into the driveway

after work—crunching stones,
hallooing up the stairs—
wanting to know about my day.
All the days are wranglers,

I say. I am not able to cite
my sources, but I make a list.
A woman at lunch said we do not
plan to live two hundred years

and so I think to tell him
well, I do not plan to live
two hundred years!
In my hands,
pillowcases I bought, embroidery

floss. Everywhere I go I think
about what is impossible.
Can homing pigeons carry
their nth letter and still get lost?

My job is to build a home,
I tell this man I have already built
a home with. My job is to do
something with my hands.



In a handful of seasons,
water and cold and dirt

get under the paint and it falls
from our houses like old bark.

The river sends smaller
and smaller floes of ice

downstream, crocus making
their way up. Rocks are inside

my shoes by the time I’m home.
Five winters now I run my hands

under your shirts, start at the top
to split the buttons from their catches

and end the cold. My hands make a set
of wings under the placket.

Moth or hawk,
I don’t know which I am.



Kerrin McCadden is the author of Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, winner of the Vermont Book Award and the New Issues Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation Writing Award. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, Verse Daily, and in such journals as American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Horsethief, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. She is the associate director of the Conference on Poetry and Teaching at The Frost Place and teaches at Montpelier High School. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont.