In Adrienne Rich’s poem “What Kind of Times Are These“, she opens with an image of woods, suggesting they are a place where people have disappeared, but asserting that “this isn’t a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here” (line 6).

The poem calls readers to attend to the world around them and laments that to get people to read a poem that pushes them outside their comfort zone, “to have [them] listen at all, it’s necessary / to talk about trees” (lines 15-16).

Write a poem in which you call on readers to attend to a reality they might rather ignore, and in which you use pastoral or otherwise indirect, harmless, comforting imagery to invite them into the poem.

Submit your entry by Thursday, April 30 for a chance to win an iTunes gift card.