Green hens perching the pole
Of a row, concentric wings
Fly you down into soil.
You catch the rain like rings
Where a pine stump tunnels
Time backward down roots’ seasonings.
If roots rot to dark channels
Mining the forest, your fiber
Threads grease in the entrails
Of families, whose bodies harbor
Scars like rain on a hillslope,
Whose skin takes sheen like lumber
Left out in the weather. Old folk
Seem sewed together by pulp
Of your green rope and smoke
From the cook fires boys gulp
For dinner along roads in winter.
Collards and ham grease they drop
In the pot come back as we enter
The house whose porch shows a pumpkin.
This steam holds all we remember.
Sweet potatoes clot in a bin,
Common flesh beneath this skin
Like collards. Grainy-sweet, kin.