I was fourteen

the year they told me

locust were coming.


At night, I’d dream

of thick swarms darkening

the mid-day sky,


the sound of their foraging,

a nonstop chiseling

of teeth and knives.


But they stayed hidden

in the circling trees,

speaking a language


of shimmers and shakes.

But soon I knew it

as a language of waiting,


of messages sent

not in the sounds

but the in-between spaces.


Signaling, as I would,

the times they thought

it was safe to come out.


Mark Madigan’s poetry has previously appeared in American Scholar, Kansas Quarterly, Louisville Review, Midwestern Gothic, Poetry, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.

Table of Contents | Next Page