Melissa Tuckey


Because the weight of grandmother’s death
Three tables inherited from various aunts

Because twelve deer grazing in a winter field
Clothing worn once then tossed

Because shelter, because sleep
Child on the floor with a bowl of plums

We loved the lack of closets
The way paint on the walls could fill a room


Melissa Tuckey is author of Tenuous Chapel, a book of poems selected by Charles Simic for the ABZ First Book Award in 2013. A Black Earth Fellow, she’s received support through a winter fellowship at Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and artist awards from Ohio Arts Council and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Recent poems have appeared in Cutthroat, Kenyon Review, and Missouri Review. She is editor of Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, forthcoming in Winter of 2018 with University of Georgia Press. Follow her work at