Karen Diadick Casselman

Zoe's brothers

have guns: one hunts with his

while the other's in the army.

The summer she was sixteen

she paid a guy a buck an hour to ride his horse.

As soon as she was out of sight

she'd get off and let it

eat grass.

She loves things wild

and brave like timber wolves.

She has never seen one

but can tell you the size of the litters

and when a bitch whelps.

Last year she tried

to bum a ride on a freighter

bound for Sable Island

only it didn't work out

so instead she settled for a jar

of Sable Island sand

the captain himself gathered

and sent to her.

The photograph I took

shows her looking

dark and silent and vulnerable.

Hardly anyone knows who she is

but they think her paintings of

wildlife are nice.

I know who Zoe is;

and she has brothers who have guns.

Karen Diadick Casselman

Her voice came down softly,

came down to the floor

where I lay on my back

watching her weave away

her quiet afternoon.

The heavy, low voice

was strong like the cloth

she was weaving,

and warm, a voice

you could wrap yourself

right up in and stay with

and not be cold,

even on the stone floor.

Karen Diadick Casselman

Yes, but I was only nine at the time

and very fond of caterpillars

if not loving towards my sister Suzanne.

So when I caught some orange and black furry ones

and put them in an old mayonnaise jar with holes

punched in the lid, I put her in with

them for company. Also so

she could observe the caterpillars closely,

and maybe learn something from them as I had.

Watching them all scramble up the sprigs of grass,

it came as no surprise to me when Suzanne

elbowed her way to the top first.

I had to spend the rest of the afternoon

shoving her back down inside the jar with a stick.

She had to learn not to take advantage of them or

they'd gang up on her and she'd be sorry!

Karen Diadick Casselman is the author of, among other works, Lichen Colors: the New Source Book, published by Dover, & co-author of Wild Color, published by Watson-Guptill. She was born near, and lives in, Cheverie.

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