As Far Back as Planted Memory Goes

In every hometown of shedded virus
textured skin of the decomposed becomes
ancestor to trace minerals
a rich loam of handed-down grief
hastily-washed from the leaves of family trees
passed around the kitchen table
piled onto bone china plates and absorbed
into ghost edges of grey hair framing the long generations
of a woman’s face.

Yellow-leafed bushes of invisible labor —
a Forsythia of feminized work blooms — against
the front porch of every farmhouse as it has every year
as far back as planted memory goes.

White men of cyclic opportunity
till a confederacy of witch-hunts
in every fertile or barren field
sow conspiracies of snow-blasted April days
fertilize them with pure honor and call it a symbol
of the coming spring.

This is a story of extraction
held on the mother tongue
if you look at it closely.

NASA announced last year
it is looking for private companies
to help mine the moon.

Stand across the street
from every open pasture.

Watch every farmer
swing the drip torch
mixed with diesel fuel and gasoline
burn the fleshly earth into submission.

Hope its foundationality remains
and only becomes
a civil war
of daffodils.

This piece is second in a series, Climacteric: On the Turning Point, a poetic collaboration for National Poetry Writing Month (#NaPoWriMo) by Samantha Wallen and Michelle Puckett. To read the previous poem in the series, click here. To read the next poem in the series, click here.

Samantha Wallen, MFA is a poet, writer, writing guide & book coach who offers writing circles, workshops, community writing programs, private mentoring, and retreats for writers & want-to-be writers. Her work on and off the page seeks to restore the soul of our world one word at a time.

Poet, writer, writing & book coach — Seeking to restore the soul of our world one word at a time…

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