a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
—for Professor Gerald W. Krantz
Migrants from your mothers, generation after generation
we spend our two-week-long lives in your eyebrows and eyelashes;
not liking light, at night we stroll about on your faces,
stretch our eight translucent legs and socialize,
while snores and nightmares rumble beneath us.
Because of us your pleasure in eye rubbing rivals that of sneezing.
We endure tar pits of mascara, guillotines of lash curlers,
tweezered separation from our families.
Alligator-shaped, exiled by hot soapy water
down drains to city sewers,
do we mutate into real alligators, terrors to the invisibles?
Forced to witness all of your deeds, we are accessories.
Our spirits warp, break.
Psycho-therapy, drugs, religion—nothing helps.
You live as though we don’t.
You will never know if we are the cement
without which your feathery souls
would not hold to your planted bodies.
Maren O. Mitchell’s poems appear in The Antigonish Review, Tar River Poetry, Chiron Review, The Comstock Review, Cider Press Review, The Lake, Poem, The MacGuffin, Poetry East, Still: The Journal, The Cortland Review, Hotel Amerika, Appalachian Heritage, The Pedestal Magazine, The South Carolina Review, Southern Humanities Review and elsewhere. Work is forthcoming in The Antigonish Review. Three poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook is In my next life I plan…(dancing girl press, 2023). She lives with her husband in Appalachia.