Leonore Hildebrandt


She found them on the tidal river not far from the house—
Winchester cartridge, duck and pheasant load,
and the extra-light Michelob, its metallic hues gauzed in mud.

In the yards scattered along her road, poverty is laid out
casually—yesterday’s engines, a trailer’s soggy remains.
Odd goods and small cash travel hand to hand.

Census workers muddle through—
what is a residence, a garden shack, a bathroom?
(Her wooden throne, screened in, balances above a composting bin.)

She needn’t be afraid for lack of walls.
Hunters keep their eyes on dwindling flocks.
Black ducks drift in fog.

Leonore Hildebrandt

is the author of The Work at Hand and The Next Unknown, as well as the forthcoming Where You Happen to Be. She teaches writing at the University of Maine and serves on the editorial board of the Beloit Poetry Journal.