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