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Grant Clauser

What We Make of the Mountain

They’re bringing martens back

to the Alleghenies, and drilling wells

to light the cities, and did you

know that salamanders caught

between your fingers, can shed

their tails and live, one wriggly

bit still sticky in your hand

like a kiss, the body already

gone into leaf litter, and even

as my cousin sold his land

for a summer home in Florida,

the voles kept scratching tunnels

in the ground, tiny eyeless

guerrillas of new suburbs, so

when the casino broke

turf for irrigation, they found

mastodons, tigers, bones

that make the coelacanth

look young, and yes, the sea

once rocked here, and buffalo

nursed their calves, but we’ve

got black mold in the resort’s

new dining room, ragweed

in the AC, customers

demanding attention.

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Grant Clauser's sixth book, Temporary Shelters, is forthcoming from Cornerstone Press. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Greensboro Review, Kenyon Review, and other journals. He lives in Pennsylvania where he works as an editor and teaches poetry at Rosemont College.

Bear Review


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