The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Sally Bliumis-Dunn



A cow’s muscled flank,
its small geography
of sinew and bone could fascinate
the boy who had not shown

much interest in paintbrush or clay
before the terrible blow to his head
from the heavy wooden swing
that day we all stood watching.

The nurse ran out.
Teachers hurried us inside.
Weeks until he returned.
Sullen and quieter,
he spent his time sculpting cows and pigs,
so detailed we saw patches
where their hides had matted or thinned,
so real we could almost see

the unprotected pink skin
showing through—this change
within a boy we thought we knew 
made us all unsteady.




SALLY BLIUMIS-DUNN teaches Modern Poetry at Manhattanville College and at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. Her poems have appeared in New Ohio Review, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, PLUME, Poetry London, The Bellevue Literary Review, the NYT, PBS NewsHour, Terrain.Org, upstreet, The Writer’s Almanac , The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day,  and Ted Kooser’s  newspaper column, among others. In 2002, she was a finalist for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize. Her two books, Talking Underwater and Second Skin were published by Wind Publications in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Her chapbook, Galapagos Poems was just published by Kattywompus Press in 2016.



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