a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
take them, one by one,
until you stand right next to the water.
Even if the beavers have already built,
you can pretend this could be your home,
this stretch of land between woods and water.
I would put my house on the rock in the middle.
I would make it out of fallen limbs and river glass,
with curtains made of scarves hikers have lost.
Beavers would be my neighbors, and bears,
and bobcats too would drink the same water
that I drink and bathe and swim in.
In the spring, when laurels bloom,
I would pull blossoms and stick them in my roof
the way I used to stick them in my hair.
In summer, I would bask in the sun on the rock
until the sun set over the mountain
and everybody wondered where I had gone.
By fall, I would probably get lonely for my other house,
the one on the other side of the mountain
with a fireplace and running water and a bed.
I could walk there from here, back up the steps,
come winter, if I knew my key would still work
and my cat would still remember me.
Felicia Mitchell, a native of South Carolina, has lived in rural southwestern Virginia since 1987, where she teaches English and creative writing at Emory & Henry College. Her recent poetry collection is Waltzing with Horses (Press 53). She has poems forthcoming in Jessica Corey’s anthology Where the Sweet Waters Flow: Contemporary Appalachian Nature Writing (WVU Press) and has enjoyed participating in the Women of Appalachia Project’s Women Speak series 2017-2018.