Instead of Grief

a ram inside me
scaling the steep slopes

within— edges of rock
he must spring from

as he climbs against gravity
and on to the next brush.

A ram can live in barren
places, years of suffering

spiraling out like bone.
The elusive beast puffs

his short deep breaths into
the openings of my body.

Trekking into the wind,
he takes risks,

using the tiniest spaces
to gain foothold.




Hollie Dugas lives and teaches in New Mexico. Her work has been selected to be included in Barrow Street, Reed Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Pembroke, Potomac Review, Poet Lore, Watershed Review, Under the Gum Tree, Chiron Review, and CALYX. Hollie has been a finalist twice for the Peseroff Prize at Breakwater Review, Greg Grummer Poetry Prize at Phoebe, Fugue’s Annual Contest, and has received Honorable Mention in Broad River Review. Additionally, “A Woman’s Confession #5,162” was selected as the winner of Western Humanities Review Mountain West Writers’ Contest (2017). She is currently a member on the editorial board for Off the Coast.