top of page

Alison Prine


the dead branch fell

from the butternut


I understood

the storm

a thump in the dark yard


summer unsettling

the leaves beginning to drop in June

maybe thirst

maybe illness


each day on my walk

I see a family of geese

four adults and eight goslings

near the pier


then seven

then six


I have a feeling of circling

waiting for a clearing

so I can touch down


I watch a lone white egret

waiting in the shallows


yesterday a woman told me

she doesn’t want to live


freedom is confusing

all that uninterrupted space

in the sky


my brother did not want to live

and now he doesn’t


while the egret waits

the goslings grow


being important and

being unimportant

I have always wanted


to live

and I do

Alison Prine author photo - Alison Kelley.jpeg



Alison Prine’s debut collection of poems, Steel (Cider Press Review, 2016) was named a finalist for the 2017 Vermont Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Five Points, Harvard Review, and Prairie Schooner among others. She lives and works in Burlington, Vermont. Visit her at

Bear Review


bottom of page