Nurselog Sprig

No one would call you shallow,
your roots pincers
in the bitter-scratch
earth of your making—
burrow-tip grips like
rock-climbers ascending
the face of their ancestors’
decomposed past.
Who else but a parent
would give up his hold
on mortal ground to lie prostrate,
yielding in slow disintegration?
Wood rust and tang of uptake,
your roots draped but not
touching the world once released,
the firmament you’ll become.

Jill McCabe Johnson is the author of two poetry collections, Revolutions We’d Hoped We’d Outgrown (Finishing Line, 2017) and Diary of the One Swelling Sea (MoonPath, 2013), and the nonfiction chapbook, Borderlines (Sweet Publications, 2016). She is series editor for the Being What Makes You anthology series from the University of Nebraska Gender Programs, and founding director of Artsmith. Jill teaches English at Skagit College in the San Juan Islands, where she lives with her husband.
Twitter: @JMcJohnson

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