In the Night Orchard by R.T. Smith
Selected Poems

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In the Night Orchard is a retrospective collection of poems gleaned from over three decades of writing by a poet absorbed by nature and culture in the American South. These often-narrative poems are concerned with history, race, indigenous music, the many Southern dialects and customs and the quest for authentic identity.  

Skull, Grim, and Grinning

I forgot how barbed wire snarls—
like a low bird’s nest—caught
the cold raccoon last winter.
He found his own death there,
and each snagged stage of ice,
sun and hungry birds had a say
as weeds blew and I found
human obligations to occupy me.
But after thaw I went walking,
saw a twisted root (spring’s
first threat of snake), red eye-
shape of new sumac leaves,
deer tracks by the hundred,
and on the rotted fence post
polished to blinding shine by sun,
the forgotten relic hung,
a barbed cocoon coiled around
a fanged white flower of bone.

About R.T. Smith

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Published June 12, 2014 by Texas Review Press. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for In the Night Orchard

Southern Lit Review

He is partial to demotic lingo, too, as when he has his version of the lupus-afflicted Flannery O’Connor say, “Locally nigh-on famous / for being chaste, medicined bald as a possum / and already starting to limp with a stick, I was / nothing sent from Venus, my head swole up / like a muskmelon in...

Feb 12 2015 | Read Full Review of In the Night Orchard: Selecte...