Fall 2004, Volume 22.1
Laura Stott is a MFA student at Eastern Washington University. She is managing editor of Willow Springs and is also starting a literary journal in which the text will be found inside sculptural form. Her poetry has also been published in Quarterly West.
A Kind of Apple Picking
I swallowed a blossom yesterday evening.
Next spring we'll pull branches
from my ears,
roots from my throat.
We'll sell them
and call my orchard beautiful.
As I fall asleep, I think about this:
How when my petals fall
the birds might discover me.
When the summer is over,
the roots will be past my thighs.
When they reach my feet, I will be
the dreams of things unfolding,
what an apple must be.
If you put your ear to my ear,
you'll hear nothing
except the sound I make as I grow.
I ate the apples you've become famous for.
I didn't eat the huckleberries,
I was too late for that.
I did eat the branches, the stems,
the shriveled worms inside them.
If you believe me, I did this.
If you would believe me, I ate more than the flesh of the apples.
I ate the whole core,
I ate the seeds because I'm immune.
I ate the thorns in the woods,
scraped the skin off with my teeth and sucked until they grew dull
I ate the wheat yesterday.
If you believe I would take the time,
I picked and ground the wheat myself.
Dusted the flour into my green mixing bowl,
baked and ate it for dinner.
I ate the ashes because I cooked them that way,
cooked them to black,
to the night, to the northwestern light,
and then I ate the stars.
Except for the poisonous ones,
which I planted,
concealing their bright flesh in yours.
A Kind of Bird Watching
I never told you this, but I was
once a mother crow.
My head shone in the dark,
and we danced the crow dance.
All we mothers
were the stars,
our children at our toes,
sure of our black wings
and convinced of our