Praying Unicorn

discovered itself in a hidden forest
where Earth is trying to right herself
with rain and green and tributaries
of the water of lasting life.
Here Unicorn is small and graced
with long fast legs, a swaying head,
an appetite for other creatures
that scurry and climb smooth bark.
It looks toward sky between thick leaves.
It holds twig-still when parrots fly.
And from its head a tiny horn
vibrates silent words to gods
that just might save us from the dark.

-Katharyn Howd Machan

Katharyn Howd Machan has authored 38 published collections, most recently Secret Music: Voices from Redwing, 1888 (Cayuga Lake Books, 2018), Katharyn Howd Machan: Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press, 2018) and What the Piper Promised (Alexandria Quarterly Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies, and textbooks, including The Bedford Introduction to Literature and Sound and Sense. She is a full professor in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College in central New York State.