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Bonnie Larson Staiger "Litany of Druthers", "It's All the Rage", When the Water Recedes"

Bonnie Larson Staiger is a North Dakota Associate Poet Laureate and ND Humanities Scholar. She is a recipient of the ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Prize form North Dakota State University Press for her debut chapbook, Destiny Manifested which also received the ‘Independent Press Award: Distinguished Favorite.’ She has recently received awards from Flying South Literary Magazine, The MacGuffin’s Best of the Year Anthology, was a finalist for the Julia Darling Poetry Prize and the Great Midwest Poetry Prize. Her second book, a full collection titled In Plains Sight is forthcoming from NDSU Press in 2021.


It’s All the Rage

I am not a political activist
nor am I disenfranchised
or without opinions or one seeking
a platform from which to wail or rail.

I am an obscure Plains Woman
easily dismissed and swept away
by the contrails of flyover folks
in the red-eye sky.

I am a brave descendant of survivors
ignored by coastal elites
thriving on a stubborn land
of old souls among old stars.             

Published in Poetic License Press UNSEEN Anthology, Spring 2020

When the Water Recedes

along the upper Missouri,
what remains is ice.
When I say ice, I don’t mean
a serene skating rink painted

on a Hallmark card. I mean jagged,
ice-jam shards like a pileup
of 18-wheelers, flatbed trailers,
and mangled Mitsubishis.

When I tell you it’s cold,
I don’t mean windchill warnings,
put-on-long-johns, a-heavier-jacket,
leave-the-car-running cold.

I’m saying risk-amputation-
from-frostbite freaking cold.

Published in North Dakota Quarterly Vol. 86 Nos 3-4 

© Bonnie Larson Staiger, 2020


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