The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Nancy Naomi Carlson


Fully formed from his rib bone,
I clung to his side, as river to shore,
even as currents venture forth
on their own. Or not entirely on their own,
riverbanks shaping the course of flight.
I could have drowned in the pull of this world
as he led me to thickets
that whirred with the tick of thrush; salt licks
that sprung from lichen-covered stone.
He taught me names of trees, a tangle of tones:
arborvitae, tree of life, ailanthus, tree of heaven.
He explained the bloom of living things.
Like a baby, I held and mouthed each word,
but by evening, a new kind of hunger evolved.

Copyright 2006-7 by Cook Communication