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A constellation of mint

By Kevin McLellan

The blur of



the street

the town center //
the obelisk                              and dust
                                                     profiled by
                                                     the sun              



and the curfew //                  the sound of
                                                     running feet

many other feet
and the barking


Under the sun

bed sheets
on the sides of homes

heavy air
scent of mint


the neighbors
whisper (inquisitive boy

                                                        not since



The young man
underground press


                                                     for his mother
at the public market //      he leaves




Added: Monday, July 21, 2014  /  McLellan's poem took Third Place in the Split This Rock 2012 Poetry Contest. We are grateful to Naomi Shihab Nye, judge of the 2012 contest.
Kevin McLellan

Kevin McLellan  is the author of Tributary (Barrow Street, 2015), Round Trip (Seven Kitchens, 2010), and [box] (Letter [r] Press, 2016). He won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize and Gival Press’ 2016 Oscar Wilde Award, and his poems have appeared in journals including: American Letters & Commentary, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review, West Branch, Western Humanities Review, Witness, and several others. Kevin lives in Cambridge, MA.

Other poems by this author