Illustration: birdbath photo digitally manipulated to suggest psychadelic hole in moss-covered surface

she peers in hollows

below gnarled trunks
caves abandoned by
hibernating dreamers
places where
the unvarnished whisper
mouth silently
near standing stones

go back in the family tree
branches held secrets
that went to graves
roots used fungi
to summon and send
first private messages

seed stashes
squirrel caches
in rich loam veins
threaded with zeros and ones
earthy network abuzz
beneath boot prints
in scars

amber drips catch
fragile dragonfly wings at rest
so much oozing crawling emerging
life persisting
even when truth
is forced underground
denied like the emperor’s
missing leaves and bark

Lisa Periale Martin is a poet, writer, librarian, mariachi aficionado, and former farmworker. Her writing is steeped in the essence and wonder of the Sonoran Southwest. Tiny Seed, Sandscript, and Harpy Hybrid Review have published her work.

Illustration by C.B. Auder.

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