a rich loam

Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

“During the 1850’s, when the Republic was breaking apart, newly exposed soil from abandoned narratives was as rich and fresh as a natural meadow.”
— Susan Howe, “The Birth-mark”

in every hometown
notice the presence of death
alchemize the force
make it into a soft pocket
in the jaw

sound of phrase,
sound of naming

second manassus
chickamauga
anteitem
rappahannock
appomattox

that man, in the capitol on january 6,
had been waiting his whole life
to wave the confederate flag
over his shoulder
all easy & carefree

“We, Sir, hate you.”

our closeness to the opened thing
picked, where it cannot scab
white exposed
fragile like
bone china

face South

how much one christian can hate another

face blood

open body with musket
leave limbs littered

mine the moon

tables and chairs, carried off for history’s sake
force of what was
being preserved in infamy
too strong to keep the house assembled

we who love

know the danger of recognizing birdsong

holy raiment
of supple

quiet word

its folding
soft scraping

building up, by repetition,
a rich loam
of the smitten

how the cherished still decompose

This piece is one 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.

Michelle Puckett, MFA is a poet, doula, permaculturalist, coach and Co-Founder of Creating Freedom Movements, a social justice school for activists. All of her work aims to nourish the sacred and make it plain in every day life.

poet. doula. queer. seed-grower. love-maker. creatrix-worshipper. ancestor-reverent {r}evolutionary.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store