The small box is filled with little beasts—
a barn that’s a barge, a boat—the ark’s
ridged sides like boards, a plastic plank,
a deck that drops in fitted slots, but lifted
reveals that zoo of twos—heaped beasts
to be released beneath a glittering tree,
its dove-clipped limbs. Dad’s asleep
in his reclining seat, and crumpled waves
of paper recede as Mom circles the room.
The humming wheel throws light across the walls.
From Ark (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Ed Madden. Used with the permission of the poet.
Ed Madden was raised in Newport, Arkansas. He received a BA in English and French from Harding University, a BS in Biblical Studies from the Institute for Christian Studies, an MA in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in literature from the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent collections include Ark (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016), Nest (Salmon Poetry, 2014), and Prodigal: Variations (Lethe Press, 2011). He is a professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of South Carolina, where he teaches Irish literature and creative writing. In 2019, he was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Madden currently serves as the poet laureate of Columbia, South Carolina.
Date Published: 2016-03-15
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/ark