January 14, 2016

Before Surgery by Joan Colby

Saddle the horse of morning.
The day of the dead approaches.
Sugar skulls grin from the shelves.
In the blind canyon, shadow
Congeals where the trapped boy
Cut off his arm with a penknife.
The horse whinnies and rears.
The old coin of the sun is rubbed
To a blur. The clouds herded 
Like distracted cattle.  In the valley
Knives await like Indians atop the rimrocks.
Smoke signals spell the name
On the waiver that permits
Slow fires, skinning knives,
The ghost dance.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, etc. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 16 books including "Selected Poems” from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and “Ribcage” from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Colby is also a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review. 

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