a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
The trees were tall and closed one in.
To dream, we went down to the bay, and stared
at the slight curve of the earth on the far horizon
as the sailboats moved freely through the water.
When my friend returned one year I did not know
that she was going to die three years later.
She was my oldest friend and we went for a walk
from my house down the street to where her house
once had been, but now was torn down.
At the end of the street was the water
and we found ourselves by the healing poultice
of the mud flats near the bay’s edge.
When one of us as kids was upset, we’d meet there,
jumping between the cracks, only to miss
and fall into the squelch of warm mud,
laughing with a great inner freedom
our bodies happy from top to bottom,
inside and out, sheer, complete happiness
never recovered in our serpentine adult years.
She’d had a horse back then, and I had been jealous.
My family didn’t have money for much of anything.
But I had the grades, all A’s, and the ambition,
knowing that would be my ticket out,
and it was, even more so after my father died.
So we found ourselves there: she, with little time,
and me, finding soon there would be
no one left to tell my stories to
after all my wild travels around the world.
It was our last dream together.
Karen Petersen has traveled the world extensively, publishing poetry, flash, and short stories both nationally and internationally in a variety of publications. Her poems have been translated into Persian and Spanish, and she has been nominated for numerous prizes, most recently making the longlist for the UK’s Bridport Prize.