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Poem of the Month for June 2019

Poem Selected by Davis Poet Laureate James Lee Jobe

Post Date:June 05, 2019 2:05 pm

California Pastoral

we tried to edge the lawn, pruned
and raked ourselves tidy

I don’t remember when we stopped
sweating to make the yard
into what we thought it should be

whatever’s left out there now
is wild and takes care of itself

we lost the plum tree to drought—
woodpeckers turned the husk
into a home

-- by Beth Suter

(Previously published in Canary)

Beth Suter studied environmental science at UC Davis and has worked as a naturalist and teacher. She is also a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee with recent or forthcoming poems in Colorado Review, Natural Bridge, Flyway and CALYX, among others. She lives in Davis with her husband and son.

The wild lives everywhere, not just in the wilderness, but in a city, next to a freeway, or in a suburban yard. Every plant that grows, every finch, the weather; a million things connect us to the natural in life. Here, the poet at first works hard at taming the wild, and in the end let’s nature take her course. And both ways are just fine.

James Lee Jobe
Davis Poet Laureate

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