the earth will accept me into its dirt

Poetry by Stuart Gunter
Issue 67 • September 2018 • Schuyler

when I am dead and have mulched back
into the earth, humus to feed the oaks
and poplars of my home, my spirit limning
in a halo of light the wrens and ravens,

when my bones have petrified in its
great ossuary of red clay, when some
child finds my hyoid bone and fashions
an awkward slingshot,

when the watery light plays on
the rabbits by the hedge, sticking
their noses through the rabbit-gate
along the gravel road, the honeysuckle

strangling the young locust before it blooms
and lives a thousand years, all
my books, all the poems I wrote, all
the songs I played, the love I squandered,

the debts, the cash I left to my children
the doubt they inherited to reconcile
on the couch or in the woods,
among the dogwood trees they so love,

remembering their old pop saying, “Look
at that Cooper’s hawk.” “Look at that stand
of maples, kids.” remembering their faulted,
adulterated father saying, “Children, we live
in a beautiful state.”

Stuart Gunter lives in Schuyler with his wife and two children. In addition to writing poetry, he likes to paddle the Rockfish River and play drums in obscure rock bands.

Illustration by Paul Hostetler

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