Convict Weather by Kevin Casey




Kevin Casey is the author of Ways to Make a Halo (Aldrich Press, 2018) and American Lotus, winner of the 2017 Kithara Prize (Glass Lyre Press, 2018). And Waking …was published by Bottom Dog Press in 2016. His poems have appeared in Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry ReviewConnotation Press, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column ‘American Life in Poetry.’ For more, visit:















Convict Weather


More common than a hurricane or blizzard,

a few times each year a convict would wander

from the prison that crowned a nearby ridge.


And in the days that followed, we’d be walked

to our bus stop, doors and windows would be locked

at night–just an ounce more of prevention,


routines only slightly shifted until

the danger was subdued in some hayloft,

or the dogs had circled an abandoned camp.


Until then, the news anchor would warn us

to watch out for the suspect, to be alert

and exercise common sense and caution,


and to look out for our neighbours, as if

the desperate presence that wound its way

along the windbreaks and ditches, and raced


across our moonlit fields was little more

than a stretch of rain, or a hard frost

determined to devastate our harvest.


Kevin Casey