Laura Van Prooyen

Lines Speak to Each Other

What might have started as an idea
has become celery, muscled and sliced.

Too much screen time can be undone
by soup or dirt, but our fingers are so busy

swiping, slicing ginormous rain clouds
into pixeled ether. Don’t bother. Deep sigh

is only a sign that your lungs function
despite the lost art of picking meat

from the bone. We can record anything
that happens now. And just like that

a dog wearing a parachute falls toward earth.
His big beagle ears fly behind him

while a woman skims the scum from the top
of her bone broth. Pull the ripcord,

we’ve grown soft and comfortable. No need
to track the number of steps we take.



Laura Van Prooyen is author of three collections of poetry: Frances of the Wider Field (forthcoming from Lily Poetry Review Books, 2021) Our House Was on Fire (Ashland Poetry Press) nominated by Philip Levine and winner of the McGovern Prize and Inkblot and Altar (Pecan Grove Press). She is also co-author with Gretchen Bernabei of Text Structures from Poetry, a book of writing lessons for educators of grades 4-12 (Corwin Literacy). Van Prooyen teaches in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program at Miami University, and she lives in San Antonio, TX.