On Keeping a Pet
My mother’s girlhood ponytail
was chopped at the root and kept in plastic
at the bottom of the drawer
where the good china was stored
but never used.
When alone, it was my pet slipped free
into my lap. A soft fray of auburn
to run my hand along.
I never tried to imagine her face
as the hair was severed, a slow cascade
grasped in the fist of the blade holder.
The offerings I’d bring to it were always
ignored. Handwritten letters, strawberry
jellybeans. Once, a very quiet song.
Meghann Plunkett is a poet, coder, and lover of dogs. She was a finalist for Narrative Magazine’s 30 Below Contest as well as a Juno Residency recipient. Meghann is currently an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale where she was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, North American Review, The Paris-American, Muzzle Magazine, Winter Tangerine, decomP Magazine, storySouth, and the anthology Chorus (Simon & Schuster, 2012). Her essays, erasures, and animated poems can be found in Luna Luna Magazine. She is the writer in residence at Omega Institution and the director of The Black Dog Tall Ship Writing Retreat on Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Visit her at meghannplunkett.com.
Originally a poet, Rebecca Norris Webb often interweaves her text and photographs in her books, most notably with her monograph, My Dakota — an elegy for her brother who died unexpectedly — with a solo exhibition of the work at The Cleveland Museum of Art in 2015, and a second edition published this winter. Her photographs have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Le Monde, among other publications. Her sixth book, Slant Rhymes, with her husband and creative partner Alex Webb, will be released next spring. The work was inspired by their joint Instagram.