11.3 (Spring 2007)   The 2River View  

Laura HirneisenListen



Heavy as
this rock harvest,
face half-given to dirt,
papered in leaves and lichens,
mother to an ant's nest.
I feed my fingers
the taste of sandstone,
dried clay flakes,
pits and dents
of lost pebbles,
and wonder if I should,
end over end, heft of hands,
lift the heaviest one.
The steep slope's jut
could take me now
or I could continue,
counted breaths uphill,
but I am rock-still,
lodged and silent in my way.


To understand genealogy

I pull your architecture
from between my rib bones:
rectangle roof slope,
boxed yellow gray sides,
nine paned kitchen door,
westward attic window ledge.

When morning fractures
your farmyard, I
hear your chickens,
find weasel ambush,
white feathers red:
your favorite hen dead.

I walk barefoot on
peeled oil cloth floor
green tan brown,
where woodstove lit,
five cups kerosene burn
in glass bowl's basin.
Dad told me how Annie
died here inside you.




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