National Poetry Month Spotlight: Hayden Saunier

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2015! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections. In turn, the featured poets will introduce poems they love. Happy April!
Today’s featured poet is Hayden Saunier, author of Tips for Domestic Travel.
Tips for Domestic Travel
Hand to hand combat now,
You’re back, a low-to-the-ground
lesson to be learned year after year,
your arrival timed precisely with the
succulent blooming of Canterbury bells.
You, who are undeterred by boards and wire,
who digs a house beneath my house,
who eats the buds before they bloom,
who I didn’t catch when you were young
and dumb enough to eat the apples
smeared with honey in my HavAHart,
who I can’t shoot because I live in town
next door to a retired cop who knows
the sound of small arms fire. He offered,
this year, if I poisoned you, to pull you
out from underneath the porch
when you began to stink (he’s dragged
worse bodies from worse spots,
he says) so I mix arsenic and chunky
peanut butter, make country paté, push
a dish of it beneath the porch and find
today you’ve sucked the peanut butter off
each pellet, spat them back into the dish
and pushed the dish into the rosemary
for me or mine to eat and die.
Hayden has chosen to introduce “The Man in the Yard” by Howard Nelson.
She says: I was struck by the simplicity and restraint of this poem, which gives the narrative so much power.
Hayden Saunier1.2Hayden Saunier is the author of three poetry collections, Tips for Domestic Travel, Say Luck, and the forthcoming Field Trip to the Underworld. Her work has been awarded the Pablo Neruda Prize, Rattle Poetry Prize, the Gell Poetry Prize and has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize.