on Geophagy and being penned in
The following post was written Sunday in a warm house. In lieu of NightLight this week, I’m leaving you with this, and I’ll return some time next week having caught my breath. This will explain everything or nothing at all. It’s according to who you are.
on geophagy and being pinned in
All the daffodils in NW Arkansas have given up the ghost. They sleep beneath 12 inches of snow. Just this week I wore a tank top and bought potted flowers in every color I could handle. Now they sleep on the glassed-in porch, like caged bobcats, lethargic and thirsty.
I miss you, Backwoods, in this season change, always.
I used to walk trails in the woods, some of deer, some of the native Alabamians. My body would sweat, but my lungs would be cold, heaving in the air as I used roots and branches to climb and descend mountain crannies. The leaves would be dry and piled, the soil beneath logs only just beginning to make itself black perfume, every kind of small brown bird excited. I would happen on the dogwoods, where in the deep of property lines they unfurled, and I would know that soon the wind would blow, and the petals would weaken their grip, and they would cover the ground like summer snow – a new season.
Later on, I would happen on the mountain laurels, opening quietly together, as if sitting naked in the woods just for secret’s sake. What glory.
I miss you. I miss you, and I pack again to see you. If one were to eat the earth where I was born, she would recognize me. She would know something of the field people before me, how we don’t know how to separate ourselves. We see the work under our nails, and we leave it there. It’s in us anyway. We taste tomatoes and say, “only here. Only here do we know how.”
The ground is being turned, and seeds rupture. I want to go home and eat. So I scribble over everything this week in my planner, and I go,
because everything here is busy and out in the open,
and I wasn’t made for that, not made for any charts, except the one of the moon in an almanac, hanging on a kitchen penny nail.
and for my Seth.