a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
South Haven, Michigan
My daughter stares out at the horizon through a camera picturing
she and I in a midwestern landscape, flaming
pink blush of sunset against coarse cornstalks turned dark charcoal
for the eye to imagine the fields will never appear
any other way than the way she has seen them. The world
is whatever we choose to make it, she writes below the photograph
on Instagram, then turns the camera outward again,
this time to say live however you want and posts our elongated shadows
against the sidewalk in this small town where we spend a Saturday.
Yesterday, the trees were flocked with bronze and burnt orange hues,
but today they begin to shed their leaves and she asks us to decide
what to do with the time that is given us.
We round the corner of a street to see Lake Michigan—in her feed
she calls it the ocean. We both want to live
by the ocean someday. But, maybe, as she says,
we are already here: the shoreline, the breakers, the seashells we take.
Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of the chapbooks Still Life (PANK, 2020), Parrot Flower (Glass 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (FLP 2018). Her poetry has appeared in several literary journals including The Laurel Review, RiverSedge, and The Berkeley Poetry Review, and she is a winner of the 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize in the New Poetry from the Midwest anthology by New American Press. A former book reviewer for NewPages and intern with Sundress Publications, she is currently Assistant Professor of First-Year Writing at Michigan State University, and an associate editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry.