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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

Erin Lyn Bodin

About Place Journal, Volume II Issue I


The Three Sisters

On my way to meet you
Apple trees are dancing.
Call them three sisters. Call them three women.

I travel all the seasons
On my way to meet you.
Setting sun ahead. Rising sun behind.

Apple blossoms blooming,
Crimson red to white.
Reaching, arching boughs. Ripened, falls the fruit.

Fear is in their dance.
Joy is in their blooms.
Sex in fruit, in arch. Love and loss in flesh.

Each one reaches West.
Each one movement locked,
Strongholds –sapwood, bark. Heart in core then pith.

On my way to meet you
Evanescent mother.
Dance! However fleeting. Arch towards west and east.

Birch Tree
Here I am, says she
bark peeled back, her wind-whipped heart,
White skin pulled taut
along her trunk, but here
she’s opened – a pomegranate
hollowed out. As if
a wind that’s slow and easy,
slow and easy, lifts
the edge of tattered
bark, skin loose to wind, skin
slow, easy,
a heron’s flight. But
wind picks up, bark flaps
wild, waves like prayer flags
fingers find an entry
under raw skin and
pull and peel her open.
Here I am, says she
ripping her shirt, gesturing
bare chest, beating heart.
Smooth skin under weathered
shell, edges layered, bark
upon bark, year upon year. Lines
like wrinkles, wrinkles like
veins, grooves to run
your tongue down,
half-moons cresting, half-
circles rippling, rumpled petals or
pursed lips.
Underneath, Here I am,
open, bared, a mother
who lost a child
grew strong in layers.
A mother who
lifts wind-whipped heart,
shouts into wind
Here I am.
Here I am.
Here I am.

Erin Lyn Bodin is a student at the Stonecoast MFA program in creating writing at the University of Southern Maine. She and her husband, Ethan, live on their family homestead in rural Vermont. Here, nestled in a valley below the Green Mountains, Erin is working to tend two dreams: writing and living simply. In both, there are trials and joys, but she’s shooting for “small victories.”


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