Featured Poet: Alanna McAuley

Tonight I’m featuring the last of my former students in this series.  I just can’t help but be proud of them and the very cool writing things they’ve gone on to do.  They were strong writers when I first met them, and they’ve only grown in the years since they left my classroom.  Tonight’s writer really came into her own as a poet in her last semesters of high school when she began to experiment with language and form — and she remains, to this day, the only one of my students to ever attempt the curtal sonnet for an assignment in my class.  (And it was gorgeous.)

Alanna McAuley lives in Seattle, WA where she is learning to negotiate between her day job and her creative pursuits–the biggest lesson she’s learned so far is that the PNW has so much to offer to daydreamers! In her spare time, Alanna enjoys knitting, gardening, gazing at the mountains, and — of course —writing. Her poems have appeared in The Anthem and The Blue Earth Review



On Privacy


Upstairs in his office my father
and I discussed the nudist lifestyle.
We remained fully clothed while
scoffing at these colonies. Over his head

I saw the privacy hedges quiver
through the slats in the window blind.

This was the day my mother took a handsaw
to the twelve-foot boxwood intimidating
the backyard fence. Dad will be mad, she said.
He always thinks I take off too much,

but it always looks good. I told her
to stand back, and view the whole picture.

I expected any second for my father to throw open
the upstairs window, balking at the gap
between fence and foliage. I scurried about
collecting the branches like what’s left on the floor after a haircut.

The trees’ hacked wounds bleed sap. It coats my fingers.
A few doves observe the scene from the power lines.


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