the museum of americana

a literary review

Slickwater and Sand — Poetry by Ruth Foley

 
Coming through the hill, pulling grace and curve,
or cresting it, Pennsylvania falling beneath me
and me eyeing the cones lined between me
and a trailer-sized flat of guardrail—don’t think
of the drop don’t wonder if the driver dropped—
it might be best to believe this could be home.
We’ve spoken of a farm, a stretch of goats and
chickens, the labor vague at the base of my skull
or floating out of it. And bees—I can almost
see the sweep and dive, legs heavy with pollen
despite November. Goats, chickens, bees, a pair
of lazy dogs. Too far from water and salt, I say,
but here, away from the sea, money has taught us
to fill fractures with water and maybe I could
fill myself with soil. Or teach myself to forget
the risks of surrendering to power. Think of it,
they say, as hollows stabilizing. Think of it as inshore
reefs, as risks so slight you might not notice what
shifts and settles underfoot, what burns. The water
is still fine, sweet, there is no evidence, drink.
Sometimes destruction rises instead of falling,
but we should think of floating, of how warm
the farm can be, light leaking onto the lawn
while we drop off, the dogs snout-tucked small
at our feet, the barnyard absent even the buzz.

 
~ ~ ~

Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her work appears in numerous web and print journals, including Adroit, Sou’wester, andValparaiso Poetry Review. Her poems can also be found in several anthologies, including the Best Indie Lit New England anthology. She is the author of the chapbooks Sink and Drift, Creature Feature, and Dear Turquoise, and the full-length collection Dead Man’s Float (forthcoming from ELJ). She serves as Managing Editor for Cider Press Review. 

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