a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
I take my kids for a walk down our dirt road because you and I are fighting and I need to move my muscles and get some air. It’s early summer, and slender tamarack needles are green the way that new things are beautiful. By October, they will turn yellow and fall. The kids have too much energy pent up from nine months of school, just ended. I make them race and tag and jump. Keep them moving. Keep their feet shaking the ground. The rhythm of my legs and soles of my feet and the yardage passing under my body wear our fight into a smooth heaviness in my gut. A tension, like a bass string, like a standing wave. The kids find a rounded rock, the size and shape of a box turtle, broken cleanly into two pieces. They hurl the larger piece to the ground, and it cracks in two. All three parts reveal the same, dark core shaped like… a horse? A monster? A useless fight? We each pocket a piece of permanent rock under temporary green. Under tamarack.
Penny Guisinger lives and writes on the easternmost tip of the United States. She is the founding organizer of Iota: The conference of short prose, and is earning an MFA from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine.