Travis Mossotti’s poem “The Dead Cause” won first place in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2009. His poem is featured in issue 294.2, Spring 2009 and can be still be purchased through our online store.
The Dead Cause
On the porch, a grasshopper waved
its serrated foreleg at me while I juggled
groceries for keys; it was the kind
of friendly wave I might expect
from a loved one, recently dead,
reincarnated into this green husk.
The whole ordeal triggered an alarm
of distant thunder, stuffing my head
with dark seeds; so after waving back,
I ducked inside, fearful
of inadvertently giving the dead cause
to haunt me—the last thing
I needed. Regina was off doing research
in Glen Rose again, otherwise
she would’ve identified the grasshopper
using the scientific precision that always
fussed my mouth with cobwebs.
As it was, I dialed her number
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