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Lisa Bellamy

Lisa Bellamy studies writing with Philip Schultz at The Writers Studio, where she also teaches. She has received a Pushcart Prize and a Fugue Poetry Prize, and her poetry was featured recently in a United Nations exhibit on migration and climate change. She is the author of The Northway (Terrapin Books) and Nectar (Encircle Publications chapbook prize). She is working on new poetry and fable collections. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, and the Adirondack Park.


Defensive warfare,
according to Buddha, is
permitted. Shy is savvy,
Shy is alert. Shy stays
safe, in the burrow. Over
and over, my mother
muttered, Lisa, you’re a
hothouse flower—you’re
just too goddamned shy.
She did have the gift of
metaphor, but never
learned to deploy me, and
I say, red rover, red rover,
let Shy come over. Listen
up, I could say to my
next-door neighbor,
young Theo; his parents
insist he is shy. Theo
come over, sit near me on
the shy couch. I see your
big ears, kid—a plus, we
need the radar, we need to
detect moving objects.
Shy is watchful, shy is
Swamp Fox, shy lays
low, under leaves. We
keep our powder dry,
Theo, we move
when we’re ready.
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