Cheryl Anne Latuner lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she teaches writing and literature at a Waldorf high school. She has published two poetry chapbooks, Soon They Will Fly—A Mediation at Fitzgerald Lake and The Ballad of Sackman Street, based on her Italian grandparents’ immigration to and experience in America. She has also had poems in The Comstock Review, Blue Unicorn, Tar River Poetry, and The Spoon River Poetry Review and forthcoming in The Naugatuck River Review.
What Rests in the Earth
For these two hours, I am harvesting carrots,
furrowed farm acres before and behind,
green tops of carrots signaling from mud to sky.
Blunt-bladed, a tractor nudges them, arching and twisting,
into the light, and a bright orange glow, released
from the clay, uprooted, lolling, takes on form. Sometimes,
approaching a bridge, I have recoiled in terror of what seems
all too probable: a slip past the guardrail
into the immensity of sky and water, vastly more present
than the curving slice of bridge; as if it were possible
to be pitched too soon back into the ether.
Sometimes, in the first awakening moments
of morning, the day stretches out like a bridge,
a continuation of yesterday too narrow to hold to,
while outside the window, birds beckon to me
with their startling freedom, their songs
like bells calling monks out of their cells
to pray. With each tug on a tuft,
a carrot, effortlessly, follows. Plump,
hard, cool in the hand, it knows how it is
to rest in the earth; how it is that body
and root are one; how it is to trust,
yielding, to the open air.