A Small Death
by Susanna Lang

A bat drags its broken wing along the pavement
flutter-kick flutter-kick
and I can do nothing.

Its fur is a glossier brown than I’d imagined.
It doesn’t belong in the daylight
but I can do nothing.

Young women with their dogs on leashes chatter in unintelligible languages.
Elsewhere, people are dying the sudden deaths of war
or the slow diminishment of famine

but this small death is taking place at our feet
while clover and columbine bloom sanguine at the edge of the path.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

Susanna LangSusanna Lang’snew collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was released in summer 2017 from Terrapin Books. Her last collection was Tracing the Lines (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2013).  A two-time Hambidge fellow, her poems have appeared in such journals as Little Star, Prairie Schooner, december, Prime Number Magazine and Verse Daily, as well as an earlier issue of Cider Press Review.  Her translations of poetry by Yves Bonnefoy include Words in Stone and The Origin of Language. Among her current projects is Self-Portraits, a chapbook collection of ekphrastic poems focused on women across the arts. She lives in Chicago, and teaches in the Chicago Public Schools.

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