In the Palm of My Hand, Rivers by Tina Carlson

 Because the fields of my childhood
 vanished, I carry smoke in my hair.
 I bed dank dirt in my hands.
 My father shook his wars, sank 
 the hum of their dangers in mud.
 The deeper he dug, the more 
 it smelled like bread. Mothers
 placed seeds in the graves
 of those guns. I have not 
 forgotten the rivers that flowed 
 underground. How the cottonwood 
 roots sipped, made ships for my brothers and me. 

 We sailed to places where trees 
 were called palm. Where night’s catharsis 
 couldn’t break us. If days were fruit, those 
 days were plums, succulent in their viscid 
 light and endless sources of juice. When fall
 turned leaves to breezing husks, we blanketed
 in mulch, with bulbs making food of the ground.

Bio: Tina Carlson is a poet and a psychiatric healthcare provider. Her poems have appeared in many journals and blogs. She was featured in the 2017 Nov/Dec Poets & Writers ‘5 over 50.’ Her book GROUND, WIND, THIS BODY (UNM Press) was published in March 2017. She recently completed a collaborative manuscript called WE ARE MEANT TO CARRY WATER with Katherine DiBella Seluja and Stella Reed which will be published by 3: A Taos Press. Source:

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