5 Days Remaining
Bethany W Pope

Thursday 4th
posted by Jody Porter in Arts

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter

Making Hay
Bethany W Pope

Sometimes birds got caught up by the baler.
Those sharp, hooked teeth drew them into the chute
and crushed them. My numbed hands would brush their wings
and their blood would seep into my rope-burns.
I tried not to think about it. After
my shift, I’d lave brown water from the pump
and soap myself up to my thin forearms,
and I tried not to think about stopped songs
or yellow beaks snapped in two, revealing
flat and pale tongues. Distraction was deadly;
I knew a girl my age who daydreamed — like
I did — but her timing was wrong. Her shoe
got caught in a trailing chain. She was pulled
under the flatbed truck we piled the bales
on. Her ankle bone gleamed white through the red
lips of the wound. After a while, she lost
the foot. I tried not to think about her
screaming, how it sounded like mangled song.

Bethany W Pope is an award-winning writer who has published several collections of poetry: A Radiance (Cultured Llama, 2012) Crown of Thorns, (Oneiros Books, 2013), The Gospel of Flies (Writing Knights Press 2014), and Undisturbed Circles (Lapwing, 2014). Her collection The Rag and Boneyard was published this year by Indigo Dreams and her chapbook Among The White Roots was released by Three Drops Press last autumn. Her next collection, Silage, shall be released by Indigo Dreams this year. Her first novel, Masque, was published by Seren last June.

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