Poem of the Month: August

Your Land

From the crest of this slope,
 it’s possible to stretch
your hand to the horizon,
to reach places only shadows
from the late winter sun understand.

Tuck your thumb behind those trees,
bare sticks from here but you can touch
the gum on their beginning  buds,
feel it loiter in the whorls
that signify that you are you.

Extend your fingers, flatten their flesh,
with each out breath you will reach
further, further... press down the hinges
knuckle by knuckle, allow
those short long bones to curve

around the hills, lengthen into the valleys,
let your skin merge with the earthy crumbs.
Don’t resist sharp edges of surviving leaves,
go gently on the youthful wheat that stabs
the surface of wind dried clay.

Do this often, once each season:
the creases of your palm
will become the map of your land,
 its contours a portrait of home.

by Marilyn Hammick


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