By Jared Carter
Cicadas in the Rain Only when it began to rain could I hear it, in late summer, after they had all risen high in the saucer magnolia tree – a soft, slow rain at first, while the light still held in the west. That sound so familiar, so unhesitant, but never during a storm, and yet with drops plashing and pelting through the leaves, their voices coalesced in ways I had never heard before – some strange harmonic of summer’s ending, some last reinforcement or challenge – mounting against the rain’s insistence, trying to outdo it, seeking a pulse within the larger immensity, and succeeding, as though a door had opened, and I heard pure sound issuing forth, stately and majestic, even golden, while all around it, darkness, rain falling, trees bent by the wind. (Excerpted from Darkened Rooms of Summer) Slaughterhouse There were no cattle prods back then. We beat and whipped The ones that broke away. The pens were re-equipped To move them more efficiently. For some, a sheer Incomprehensibility took over.Fear Made them submit.Convulsed with pain, a few cried out To something that could not explain or hear their shout.
Jared Carter’s most recent collection, The Land Itself, is from Monongahela Books in West Virginia. His Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, with an introduction by Ted Kooser, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2014. A recipient of several literary awards and fellowships, Carter is from the state of Indiana in the U.S.
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