Walking in Tall Grass with Violence

After the long winter, ferns uncoil
and a heart quickens in the mud.
Here, where road crews sweep
tar across the cracked roads,
the dog rolls in a nest of violets.
In the country I left, shots
ring out over a black field. This
morning, a boy’s neck was severed
in the back of a police car. Now
the driveway fir is full at the bottom,
bald at the top. Green sap blankets
the car and the trashcan lids.
I want toward the dark creek bed,
the low wires crossing the lawn.

Rachel Marie Patterson is the co-founder and editor of Radar Poetry (radarpoetry.com). She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, Rachel's work has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and the Pushcart Prize. Her poems appear in Cimarron Review, Smartish Pace, Parcel, The Journal, Thrush, Nashville Review, Redivider, Fugue, and others. Her first chapbook, If I Am Burning, was published in 2011.