Matt Daly πŸ”ˆ

Striped Skunk

In dialogue with Cotton Mather, the author’s ancestor.

The dead ones, roadside, lie flattened and smeared in this on-the-move season.

One I pass does not stink in the morning but then does in the afternoon.

One curls as if sleeping.

One day last week when I was again awake in the dark after a dream as forgettable as light, one must have shuffled past my window.

Its scent stung and faded.

I must have slept.

We had a dog when I was a boy who never learned to recoil from them, and was more than once sprayed and then sprayed again before wanting to be let in.

How, my ancestor, does one learn avoidance of a terrible gravitation?

I watch the world change and wonder what will pass the last time I breathe in.

Will it be black and white or parts of it red?

Author Reading

About the Author

Matt Daly is the author of the book-length collection Between Here and Home (Unsolicited Press, 2019) and the chapbook Red State (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). He is the recipient of a Neltje Blanchan Award for writing inspired by the natural world and a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the Wyoming Arts Council. His poems have appeared in various publications. Matt teaches reflective and creative writing in a variety of setting and with a range of audiences. He is the co-founder of Write to Thrive, a business that brings writing practices to individuals and professional groups to cultivate creativity and wellbeing.