About Michael Cadnum


Michael Cadnum is the author of thirty-seven books, including the National Book Award finalist The Book of the Lion.  Several of Cadnum's books have been released as audio books by Audible, and Open Road has published e-book editions of many of his classic thrillers.  His most recent books are Earthquake Murder:  short fiction, and a book of animal poetry titled Kingdom.  He lives in Albany, California.

Follow him on Twitter @MichaelCadnum.


Now available--my animal poems in one volume. 






The Return

Everything can be replaced—
the trilobite kissed into the fragile shale,
the cup I hold high and see
lamplight around my fingertips,
        even the kestrel
circling high over the creek.

But the replacement is never satisfactory—
a quail for a heron, a thunderstorm
for a mountain, a child on a tricycle
for some equivalent innocence,
but not the same, not even close.

The fractured fossil is swept,
and an ashtray takes its place, or a plate
of apricots pecked with
slapdash scars by the jays.
The fallen oak is replaced by a view
of sailboats, and the small craft themselves
are taken by a squall that

is broken by dawn.
That’s why this poem will be
unfinished.  The deer steal down
to eat the new landscaping
and no one sees them.
         They leave the bare stems
of the ivy, and return to the eucalyptus,
trees as slender and tawny
as the secretive young
who by this midsummer
must be gone.  Grown,
I mean.  Still here.



The Return appears in the June 14, 2019 issue of Commonweal Magazine




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