The 2River View 27.2 (Winter 2023)

Mary Lou Buschi

Terrified for This World

I decide to disappear into the woods. There, a mess of bamboo that gave up on standing, Burning Bushes lining the trail, felled trees, broken stairs, sailing leaves swirling and hitting my shoulders, when 2 young boys on motor cross bikes come flying past me. One jacks his front tire and spins to a stop.

Here is where they crest the hill and mud ridge those thick tires through the lawn of some other quaking adult, the way I did when I was their age. Anywhere was mine. The descent breathless and fearsome. It’s true, I never let the “body of Christ” melt on my tongue. I chewed through the bland nothingness and proudly swallowed. Amen.

Still a few feet from me, one boy says, “Look how beautiful this is.” The other turns his eyes in his friend’s direction and says, “Yeah.” They quickly grab cell phones, snap photos. I see a clear shot out to a dark and roiling river and think, “Yes, it is.”

We Are Not Yet Done with This Grey History

The first morning I let Max out on a long lead, we hear the cries, the gekkering. Strangers among the tangled vines, layers of sodded leaves, pachysandra choking the hill. The hair on Max’s back, a raised narrow path—beast knows beast. How to trace our steps back into the purple darkness. Oh Coy-Wolf, Fox, beautiful brute we mean you no harm as you live wild between the Knotweed, giving birth to pups who will only live 3 years. You will have mange, eat field mice, stay in your pack, called a leash. You may be dead as I’m writing this? In one version of this morning, I meet your cries with my cries, in another we are both quiet, leaving space for the other.

Mary Lou Buschi has placed poems in journals such as Bluestem, and The Laurel Review. Other poems are forthcoming in Ploughshares and Sweet. Her second full length collection, Paddock, was published by Lily Poetry Review Books in 2021. website

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