Something in me wants
to walk again from Providence
with them—living, dead,
and unborn. Their lives wound
tightly in me. Now they are names
in our bible. Some birthed
in snowstorms, others
in spring thaw or born on Thursday
so I could plant corn on Friday.
She Did What She Could (Rhoba Williams McKoon’s headstone)
Move me, wheel, from the sea, by the Hudson, through woods, fields.
My hand on your rim. Growling bellies, oxen smells. Make my feet go with my prayers.
Have I brought what I need for the world ahead? Who will ask for my stories?
Will I find my Snakeroot and Sweet Ciceley? Will the peonies survive? Will I find good dirt, water for a well?
Lifting My Granddaughter To The Well
A soft fold over the edge, pink shoes lifted, her image buoyant in the water below. She stares into the cylindrical dark, past moss and motted snails pulled back in their casings. Her face disappears in the bucket splash.
The and then not.
Now the earth’s sweet liquid brims, spills and falls back on the grass, circles through roots to the well, the river, and the bass pond.