Pulling Free

John Savoie

From the neighbor’s backyard fence
one plank is pulling free—
popping eyes of paired nails,
startled mouth that did not know
it would hurt so much, or guess
that pain could move so slow,
and the deep grain whorling
around that knotted O.

John Savoie’s poetry has won two Hopwood Awards at the University of Michigan, including a special award judged by Donald Hall. More recently, his poems have appeared in Poetry, Shenandoah, and Rock and Sling, and his first poetry collection, Open Book, is ready for a publisher. He teaches great books at Southern Illinois University—Edwardsville.