North, When the Crows Led Me

Left the butchered lilacs
and followed

Left grocery, oil change, other mouth to feed
When I could not keep up, I stopped, listened
to the woods, eyes scanning

the sky, the branches
split like an alphabet

Was wolf, not fox, fur
stuck to the frayed elbow of cedar
Was after the word for it,
chased into the drifts

Until, looking up,
there was no murder,

and the winter denned


Kelly Hansen Maher is a poet and writer living in Northeast Minneapolis. She is the recipient of a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant and a 2012-13 Loft Literary Center Mentor Series award in poetry. Kelly is working on her first full-length book of poems as well as a book of personal nonfiction. She teaches creative writing in Minnesota correctional facilities with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.