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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 6

Dan Barton

Dan Barton
Dear Sympathy
Thank you for taking the time
to send a card. Vines are all I have
ever managed to grow, a garden
of spindly shrubs and ivy that needed
no watering. All else washed out
with the rain. Once
baby copperheads from a nest in the yard
lay belly-up on the driveway
like pale tildes on a blackboard, or shriveled
to ampersands and childish attempts
at lines, suggestions
of eternity as gyres spiraling
into themselves, decaying
in the sun. Is it better
the heart retains, palming its memories
the way leaves cup beads
of last night’s rain? I would rather it relent
like the soil—let the current cut deep
and pull with it the tiny tragedies
of dead snakes, gardens
that never bloomed.
Dan Barton grew up getting lost in the woods and mountains of North Georgia. As well, he spent a great amount of time on Georgia’s coastline. Recently, however, he has made his way west and is currently working on his MFA at Texas State University.



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