Jane Blue


“Monogamous voles depressed when parted”
––Headline, Sacramento Bee

Scientists reaped voles from the prairie
and watched them mate in the laboratory. Monogamous,
(some are unfaithful, but very few) they were wrenched
apart as they bonded; a control group given a pill
to make them forget the terrible pain of parting. What if
you were the vole? This would be a science
fiction tale, the aliens siphoning you up from your car
on a desolate road, into their space ship, where they’d
experiment to see where your sex lay, your
digestive system, your glands, and you would be angry
and frightened the rest of your life. Poor voles––
the controls laughing like Alzheimer’s patients
who’ve forgotten the names and faces of their spouses;
the others were held upside down in water
and they didn’t struggle, they would just as soon die,
sleek little mice taken from their love nests in the sweet
prairie grass. Soon we’ll be given the pill too, never
having to experience the loss of love. Who will write
poetry? Poets experiment only with words. I love words
that begin with “v”––voracous: voracious love;
verdant: verdant young love; village: the village
of fairy tales where the scrub maid marries the king.
And vole: the monogamous prairie vole.
Vole, you’ll notice, is an anagram of love.

Jane Blue was born and raised in Berkeley, California. Her poems have been published in many magazines, such as The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Avatar Review, Convergence, The Chattahoochee Review, The Louisville Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. Her most recent books are Turf Daisies and Dandelions, Rattlesnake Press, Sacramento, and The Persistence of Vision, Poet’s Corner Press, Stockton. She lives near the Sacramento River in Sacramento, California.

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