Dumped at Heaven’s Gate

Alice Friman Click to


Alice Friman has new poetry forthcoming in Ploughshares, Georgia Review, and Negative Capability. Her sixth collection is The View from Saturn, LSU. A new collection, Blood Weather, is due from LSU in 2019. She’s the winner of many awards, the latest, the 2016 Paumanok Poetry Award. She lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she was poet-in-residence at Georgia College.

When a hurricane spirals
down, spinning like an unhooked
tongue shrieking in the wind’s
wet mouth, beheading trees
and cracking open the sky,

pregnant cows in the fields
let down their calves. Whether
the cause is barometric pressure
or the trauma of a bovine nightmare,
the legs buckle and the great spasms
of the uterine walls begin. All day
and into the night, hit by a fury
of flying leaves and limbs
she labors: a fifteen-hundred-
pound bellow nailed to the spot.
All the world’s misery concentrated
in that heaving flesh, that drenched
monolith of quiver and rolling eyes.

And if in the wind’s howl and rain,
her warm, slick package manages
to slip out and live, and she –
remembering to turn her head and
lick it clean – blinks to find it next morning
wobbling on its first legs, that too is Easter.