by Nissa Lee[easy-media med=”7987″ mark=”gallery-ZpwOk8″]
I was picking up a pinecone,
thinking about its complicated
fortress and what it would protect.
The kitchen ants that crawled
into its honey-soaked walls
had no chance.
That’s when I felt it turn to she—
raspberry jelly setting in the jar,
tree sap finally settling into the idea of amber.
For joy I could not tell if I was the tree
or the ant trapped inside.
I held her father’s hand to my belly.
When he was done storing the plow
and stabling the horses,
he locked the gates and followed me
around the house, silently.
But she came too early.
When the house was sleeping,
she woke me, and I woke her father,
who then spent a long time in the pantry.
He wrapped a thick cloth around a jar’s
wide mouth and tied it with our best twine.
The sun didn’t show its face
while I sat with my legs crossed in the grass
holding her, hard glass, while he
shoveled dirt at the edge of the trees.
I could not move from that place
when he took her from me.
He covered the little grave
and stood to breathe.
I saw him become part of the forest.