Deer prints in the creek mud,
rotting apples underfoot in the orchard
out back, and the field of marsh grass
between the orchard and my yard—
its meanders riddled with the hot buzz
of summer—these were home.

I ran barefoot between the orchard rows
where once the farmer’s cows were free
to roam and munch, then crouched
among the matted weeds, inhaling
scents of rank and rancid fruit
among the drunken wasps.

Other days I lay down in the valleys
my body hollowed in the yellow field—
my breasts budding against the bent grass
and my warm legs teased by grasshoppers
whirring around me.

It was all one then, even the tadpoles
wiggling in the creek like quicksilver,
the small brown turtles, and the silky
gray clay from the creek’s banks
that I squeezed through my fingers
as my child hands shaped it
into everything.

Penny Harter


One Response

  1. What a stirring poem —sensual to the hilt, and visual; one can feel the muddy world squeezing through these words. And then the nice little surprise ending of the child being the creator. That’s better than the Biblical Creator! That IS how the world begins, and how it is named. The choices of words and phrases here are expert. So appropriate to the subject.
    Nothing less would do for such an elemental poem.

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