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How to Start Your Poem

2012 Poetry Contest Honorable Mention
How to Start Your Poem

Let your dog run
see where it goes

what it turns up
what it brings back

a hollow yellow ball
a blue baby shoe

a rabbit-skin glove
the thumb torn off

a shimmering star-
ling fluttering in

its mouth
a broken wing

its eyes spark-
ling beads of ebony

its burnished beak
locked open

a tongue inside.

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Badger born and bred, Dion Kempthorne was a linebacker on the 1963 Wisconsin Rose Bowl team. He earned a PhD in English from UW-Madison, and then taught English in the UW Colleges and served as CEO/Dean at UW-Richland.

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