Poem: Aza Pace

Illo for Aza Pace's poem.

Real Muscle

She lived wild
for a year before finding us,
our only “real” dog.

Fifty pounds of muscle
so still, so tense
when a flicker in the bushes

catches her eye.
Panther, I call her, and like it,
wishing I could be

that strong. But she watches
a pair of cardinals flit
back and forth to their chicks,

tears into the bush and rips
the nest out, no matter
how much I scream

for her to drop it.
She rolls her eyes and grins
at me, the cardinals

still shrieking
and circling a blank space.
Aza Pace’s poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, South Dakota Review, and Wisconsin Review, among others. She is the winner of a 2017 Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Poetry, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Houston, where she served as Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast Literary Journal.

Submit a comment