Muriel Nelson

The Widow Kramer
Ritzville, Washington, 1918


In billowing black, her pitchfork raised, she
chased a coyote out into her wheat.

Behind her: children,
horses, milk cow, chickens, geese,
ghost of a man,

sagebrush, mountain
range, width of a country, an ocean,
a sea, length of the Volga, a war,

ghost of the town
she called home.


“The Widow Kramer” previously appeared in Part Song (Bear Star Press).

Muriel Nelson has two collections of poems: Part Song, winner of the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Book Prize (Bear Star Press, 1999), and Most Wanted, winner of the ByLine Chapbook Award (ByLine Press, 2003).  Nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, her work has appeared in The New Republic, Ploughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Seattle Review, and several anthologies, and on Verse Daily and Poetry Daily.  She holds master’s degrees from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and the University of Illinois School of Music, and lives in Federal Way.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *