Five Poems by Adam Schelle


It’s hard to be perfect in nature.

Some of the world comes too

close, or it shows too much.  I spend

a lot of time thinking about that.

My neighbors’ dog is in my yard

again.  Sometimes I say I hate them—

I know what I mean; that’s not

the point though.  Yesterday, I

accomplished nothing – which happens

when it happens.  I meant to make

up for it.  Once, when I was young,

my father read my mother’s journal

out loud to me.  I spend a lot of

time thinking about that too.

The Wind Explaining, Despite Itself

Then there are days when the sparse leaves

migrate across the ground like mice, making

movement seem trivial, if also honest. Even

scattered, they all progress toward gone – so

gentle a word; deceptive in its softness. And,

of course, there’s the graduality of un-being

implied by the whole thing: death, clumsily

wandering into where it wasn’t.

Moon Games

The afternoon splits itself in different

directions.  By sunset, I will regret

having spoken to my sister—

I won’t ask anyone’s opinion.

I am always surrounded by bodies.

When I get cold enough, I start to think

I might fall asleep so deeply

that I’ll wake up somewhere else

entirely.  As if from a very long dream.

In late November, the crows make

the trees seem to have leaves after dark—

clusters of unclaimed voices and heat:

I know I need to change my life.


Even then the lake was low—

my mother’s face toward the gulls

until it turned toward something else.

I suppose I’ve made my amends

with that: (it’s impossible to know

for sure). It’s April. A cold snap

is sweeping through the county. I walk

through my budding gardens whispering

brace yourselves. I will never plant rose

bushes and I don’t want to talk

about why. Once, I got lost on my

way back from doing something I

didn’t always regret. That was a different

April. The cold muscles its way into

the house – and I notice it.

Elk #99

I have no name on the mountain.

I thought I knew something about the

longevity of rhododendrons. I carry

big pieces of things with me; stack

them in seemingly meaningful

ways within my house. The elk show

up to raid the birdfeeders, leaving

hoofprints in the soil. One notices

me – gives a labored look, scatters

the flies from her ears,

then looks away. I will dream of

being an elk – or, I will dream of all

my teeth falling out into my hands (What’s

up with that?) Someone else’s mother

puts her arm around me. She feels me

wince – she squeezes tighter. There was

a time when that would have been enough.

Adam Schelle is a Midwest native, born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University South Bend with degrees in both English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and Women’s and Gender Studies. He current lives in South Bend, working as a copywriter and editor. The majority of Adam’s work explores various philosophies of language, identity, sexuality, and ontology. He is currently the Associate Poetry Editor for the literary publication Twyckenham Notes and is pursuing publication of his first full-length manuscript, Jawbone.

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