by Catherine Zickgraf
Night winds the native mountain routes, circling
back through abandoned camps layered deep with
the kindling of death.
The ground takes its pay
where opened veins gilt moon in the face of mud,
soaking the paths with burial sashes.
But at home,
springs follow glinting stones under houses where
salt once dripped hooked bones. In darkness, the
young are patchworked in.
And there by the waxed
glow, matriachs rip strips from dresses to tie wounds,
restitching themselves in grays in the name of pine
thicket martyrs. Let calm fill the cabins.
drums rush ears to awaken the land in supplication,
yet before they crawl the stalks seeking lost harvests,
they’ll pray hope in the dew of new waves of dawn.
Fake flowers and liniment bottles don’t rot
though decades back their owners last left
the locks unturned.
Now explorers scatter dust and feathers,
searching dates from piles of papers
under a caged upturned breastbone.
A song long ago slipped its wires,
burst the sofa window, dissolved into
ocean of wide open sky.
Catherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities—yet homeschooling her autistic youngest inspires her the most. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, [Pank], Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Find her here.