Kika Dorsey

Pine Row Issue No. 8 Autumn 2023 - Featured Poet

The Wind is a Pauper

The wind is a pauper planning a revolution, a falling

of willow branch, fence slat, nails, and broken buds of spring.

I meant to dream of us running for the bus on the street

next to the pasture, how we shout each other’s names

in the din of the wind, how we anticipate shelter

and wheels below us, how we have somewhere to go,

but instead I lay in bed awake listening to whispering

after I held our dog while he seized and died, and you said,

It was the wind, and I said, No, it was something else,

but I couldn’t make out any words. Then you left

and I stayed in our home feeling his absence while the wind

knocked and groaned, and outside the willow bowed in the dark.

The wind promises me new regimes where doors open to the buds

that blind us in their light, where hush becomes husk peeled

to reveal kernels for the horses that lean over the fence

so we can feed them while we wait for the bus

in the dream I never had. You see, I miss you, and I miss

the soft black and white fur of our dog. I could tell

how heavy he was in your arms, how you struggled

with his dead weight. And now the king and queen have fallen

and I feel their empty thrones in my spine and neck,

the ache of all we left behind, while the pauper gathers

fallen branches and promises us this revolution will not devolve into terror.

The horses in the dream I never had crane their necks toward me

like an answer. The bus windows are dark. A whisper asks me

to hush and listen. A May crown topples in the dark.

About the poem:  as shared by the poet

This poem was written after my husband and I went on a road trip in March, and my old Border Collie died in the yurt we were staying in. When we returned, Colorado was granting us its moody winds, and my husband left for another trip the next day. In this poem I explore death in spring, a revolution of sorts where the symbolism changes from what  we expect from even the laws of nature, and the wind in the poem speaks to me of a falling, not rising. The wind has a voice like a ghost. It's a poem of mourning.  

Kika Dorsey is a poet and fiction writer in Boulder, Colorado. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature and her books include the chapbook Beside Herself and three full-length collections: Rust, Coming Up for Air, and Occupied: Vienna is a Broken Man and Daughter of Hunger, which won the Colorado Authors’ League Award for best poetry collection. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times. Currently, she is a lecturer at the University of Colorado in literature and creative writing. Her novel, As Joan Approaches Infinity is published by Gesture Press in 2023. In addition, she works as a writing coach and ghostwriter. In her free-time she swims miles in pools and runs and hikes in the open space of Colorado’s mountains and plains.

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