Dawn Schout – Scablands, At The Royal Palace


Airplanes scar the empty
sky, the jet we were on long gone.
He was approaching the runway,
ready to land
when I thought our trip
was just beginning.
I landed somewhere
far away from him.

The uneven, scarred
ground is covered with red,
a burned earth
with holes large enough to swallow me.
No number of stitches could fix
these wounds.
I kick shadows, wander
in ripple marks, hoping to find
a river, a sign of life,
in the midst of these cuts.


At the Royal Palace

Monkeys play with red dirt,
stand by tourists, divert
attention from the pointed,
elaborate Asian architecture
and lush, decorated lawns.
One monkey chases me,
wants my baggy green pants
to be a tree,
my pale arm a giant banana.
I want to pet him
but back away instead.
Later, I see the bite mark
he left on another
tourist’s leg, like initials
carved into bark.


Dawn Schout’s poetry has appeared in more than 40 publications, including Gloom Cupboard, Main Street Rag, Poetry Quarterly, Red River Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. She is an assistant editor for Fogged Clarity and was nominated for Best of the Net in 2013.


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