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A Poem by D. M. Spratley

A Poem by D. M. Spratley

Author: Poetry Editor

September 22, 2019

This week, a poem by D. M. Spratley.

Bitterroot, Bloodroot, Dogtooth, Rue

My mother dies, and time
buckles underneath me.

By next spring, even the dog
has forgotten how to hike, her nose

intent on discovering other dogs
that have come before her.

The forest sweeps in front
of her unrequested, an afterthought

borne on mud. The season
has grown impatient with us, and pushes

spring ephemerals
against our feet. Heel, I say

but the dog will not, straining
in her harness,

nose already blooming
brown with dirt.


D. M. SPRATLEY is a writer and racial equity educator who lives in North Carolina. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, 32 Poems, and Shenandoah, among other journals. Find her online at

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About: Poetry Editor

Lambda Literary's Poetry Spotlight is currently closed for submissions.

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