The Itch

Published by New American Press (2008)

The Itch

by Miriam N. Kotzin

On certain summer afternoons
when shadows stretch across the lawn
and deer come out—five doe, one fawn—
a distant wood thrush pipes his tunes.

The deer have come to graze on grass
and eat some apples from the tree.
There’s fruit enough for them and me—
the wood thrush song like opal glass.

But not all afternoons are filled
with ease. Some days all song is stilled—
by what? Perhaps I do not hear,
attending only to what’s near,
distracted, itching to be thrilled.
But air born song cannot be willed.


Miriam N. Kotzin teaches at Drexel University where she also co-directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing. Her work has been appeared or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, Shenandoah, Anemone Sidecar, MAYDAY Magazine, Frigg Magazine, and Boulevard. She is the author of the poetry collections Taking Stock; Weights & Measures; and Reclaiming the Dead. “The Itch” was first published in Boulevard, appears in A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms, Revised an Expanded (4th edition), and is in her forthcoming collection The Body’s Bride. It is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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