Roots in Clay County, Alabama,
Sticking out of the ground
Like hard old men who’ve made up their minds,
Set their grip hard against everything
Young and swift –
When I walk out across this piece of earth
All covered over with honeysuckle and weeds
The ground seems to suck at my feet
As though it were alive
And needed me
Holding soil in place
Replacing stumps falling into rot.
no longer need
to defend themselves.
The bodies they owned are gone.
But remnants leak, linguistic
particulars reappear, and
voice, gesture take hold.
The dead are memes inside us,
pollen spreading before the wind
passing their invisible seed.