Michigan over Matter

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BY BETH PETERSON

Three months in Michigan and suddenly
I’m writing knock-off poems in my head
I turn off lights that were never on
I prepare for a time change five weeks in advance
I watch a long line of men, shovels in hand,
pitching it into the night and I think
maybe
one day
I’ll be like them,
smooth, easy, rhythmic,
seeing it all like paper on grass, seafoam on cars
over-exposed photographs
or something less crushing
Me, I’m always throwing it all into trees
and wondering what will come down

A wilderness guide before she began writing, Beth Peterson has an MFA from the University of Wyoming and a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Missouri. Her writing has appeared in Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Passages North, Post Road, The Pinch and other publications. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she’s an assistant professor in Grand Valley State University’s writing program.