Wake Day

owl pellets skirt the tarps across the barnís second story

the wedding barn
            originally dairy but now a wreath

a heart over its door.

thereís no blue like robinís egg
                                                                cleared sky

all the way to the Seven Devils.

I wonder
how someone becomes a good pastor

                     even a small town

a wake a week.

            death is a door, he says
or a second story.

the lakeís tame herd migrates over the creek

            deerhide showing through the bridgeís
gothic cutouts

                     snow deep enough the deer drag their feet.

wake day, in the barn
                                   the owls arenít

when I look for them.
late winterís when

they nest,
            in afternoon elsewhere.

Collier Nogues is the 2010 Fishtrap Writer-in-Residence in Wallowa County, Oregon. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of California, Irvine, and has recently been a MacDowell fellow and a Ucross resident. Her first book will be published in Spring 2011 by Four Way Books, and poems of hers have appeared or are forthcoming in Pleiades, Jubilat, 42opus, Nimrod, Barrow Street, Washington Square, and Third Coast, among other journals. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761