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3 poems by Carrie Etter

Three and a Half Years After Her Death

If I wring

my hair and she

wrought my lasagna,

my wrinkle, my

narrative arc—

even showering I’m borne

by her however-gone twinkle.

If you say twee, I’ll reveal

our old yard, a quarter acre

of crabgrass and dandelions.

I wring away water

and loiter in the steam.

Post-Apocalypse Village Idiom (1)

Here, she says, you hazard,

you stalk the knife.

A mother says it first,

knows in spite of the

adolescent shrug

the whiskey-strong words

have been licked,

unwitting lollypop.

You might reckon,

she says, no one can live

on a blade’s edge,

but some try, she says:

some stalk the knife.

Kingfisher Hide

You could weigh

this silence, if only

you could lift it.

The weight of wait.

Two photographers lean into

their cameras; foot-long

lenses make for

Pinocchio-like noses.

Yes, sometimes wait

leads to whimsy.

One electric glimpse

would be all.


Carrie Etter grew up in Normal, Illinois, lived in southern California for thirteen years, and has now lived in England for nineteen. Her fourth collection is The Weather in Normal (UK: Seren; US: Station Hill, 2018), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She's online at @Carrie_Etter and


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