Lesley Wheeler

Lesley Wheeler’s poems and essays appear in Crab Orchard Review, Massachusetts Review, Terrain.org, and other journals. Her spring 2020 books are The State She’s In, her fifth poetry collection, and Unbecoming, her first novel. Poetry editor of Shenandoah, she lives in Virginia and blogs about poetry at lesleywheeler.org.

Writing from Echoes

Romanze” by Anna Maria Hong is a twisty poem full of echoes—and full of allusions. I recognize fragments of Wallace Stevens: “imperishable bliss” from “Sunday Morning,” plus those “bawds of euphony” crying out against Stevens’ blackbirds. And it’s euphonious,…


When color comes back to the world,
leaving gets near. By the roadside, auburn
and cream cows chew spangled green.
Creeks steam. A lone bull’s horns gore

Doubled, Briefly

Finally, I consider whether
I have been a terrible mother.
A squirrel limps by, too wilted
for chatter. I might just be.

I would wake early, Saturdays,