Mother-Land

The roots thread the Earth, tree-veins, dormant

In these winter months. Imbolc, the brief pause

Between Inbreath and Outbreath, as the roots

Feel the first tingle of Spring, feel the sap stir

Just slightly, then begin to rise.

The Canada geese are back, pecking around

The chicken coop, finding the lost grains of corn

The fat mama goose needs as they begin building

And then feathering, their nest inside the pool fence

Laying all in readiness for another year’s brood.

The horses watch from across the fence, dropping

Their fertilizer on the few pecans remaining inside

Their much-diminished pasture, on our family land.

My older sister has cancer, likes to sit on the point of land

Where the horses no longer meander and graze

She gazes out, over the slow, broad river where so many

Of our childhood memories were made, in separate decades.

This is my Mother Land. The place where

I can feel the thrum and beat of the life force as it flows

Along the ley lines created by the stories of my life,

My father’s life, my grand parent’s and my children’s lives,

The life of my mother, gone now for 2 years, who came back to live here

In preparation for her passing.

There are the apple trees I planted with my love and

The horse my daughter loves and rides. Those pecans

Were planted by my grandfather and perhaps, by my

Grandmother (who I never met). The stories of the women

Are never told on my father’s side of the family.

I will tell them now. My sister. My mother. My daughter. Me.

The land does not care that I am a woman.

The land knows my stories, holds them in its bones,

The land and I are connected as those trees are to the Earth here

Our fibers woven down and threaded together the same way with our

Roots peeking out of the dirt, seeking air and light and yet also clinging

And thrusting deep into this land, this tapestry of interdependence

We have woven together, generations deep.

Copyright, Bettina Essert, 2017

 

 

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