Rebecca Pelky


Rebecca Pelky recently completed her PhD at the University of Missouri. She also has an MFA in creative writing from Northern Michigan University and is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation of Wisconsin. Her first book of poetry, Horizon of the Dog Woman (Saint Julian Press), was published in January 2020. She is currently finishing her second manuscript, Through a Red Place, a bilingual collection of poems in Mohegan and English. Dr. Pelky is an assistant professor of film studies and English at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.


From a height, it’s clear; rock is always

being worried. The river strokes it to furrows,

a taxonomy of ages etched to antediluvian,

the water turning back on itself,

leaving orphans in the oxbows. 


Riverbeds have their own scripts, things

they need said; there was rain here once,

and will be, things that grow, even there,

in the boxy spiral of a pit mine, in the scars

of what’s been found, the pressure that swells


under skins. Spring has found me too soon—

too soon the flowering dogwood, too soon

the thin black bears, the meaty runoff

of rotten ice, too soon this thing that grows in me.


Along the ridge, I pulled a wild onion,

the bulb tender, sweet. Not so the shoot,

the long green blade; its pepper was reckless,

the toughness of fibers I chewed and chewed.