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Ruth Awad

The Wolf Tells the Magpie 

We cry so the pack will come to us.
We tell the version of the story
that lets us live with ourselves.
Time is a direction and there is
only one hour.
I reason with myself because
I’m not unreasonable.
I let the wrong men in.
I send storms to my lover,
small boxes of them.
Come down to me –
I’ve been crying
as long as I can remember.


This is when you 

can look away: 


the coyotes poured 

into the streets 


because we left 

them bones and water. 


You can be convinced 

of anything. 


Even the wandering. 

See the downed wire, 


its electric beads. The thing 

that will break you is small. 


I open the windows 

and my anger 


wants attention. 

I let it in anyway.

Ruth Awad.jpg


Ruth Awad is the Lebanese-American author of Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Alongside Rachel Mennies, she is the co-editor of The Familiar Wild: On Dogs and Poetry (Sundress Publications, 2020). She is the recipient of a 2020 and 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and she won the 2013 and 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest. Her work appears in Poetry, Poem-a-Day, The Believer, The New Republic, Pleiades, The Missouri Review, The Rumpus and elsewhere. She has an MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and she lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio.

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