Geologic Time by Erica Sternin

Photo credit:  ally mcerlaine

Photo credit:
ally mcerlaine

The gardener’s middle aged, hummingbird mind

Cannot encompass geologic time.

She tosses the speckled stone from her seedbed.

The little red stone was Earth’s first daughter;

Volcanic ejecta, bouldered into a stream,

And scoured by her lover.

Intercourse pulverized her,

For an Age they carved a canyon.

Here now, palmed briefly, she’s tossed to the verge.

In the brief joy of flight she recalls her pyroclastic beginnings,

The giddiness of being bladed by a glacier

From her river-lover’s bed to this hillside.

The gardener, tweezing threadlike roots,

Fine as the hairs on her own damp chin,

Feels a sudden vertigo.

Her head drops to a loamy pillow.

As she takes her final breath, she notes the coital tang of water and minerals

At the root zone.

Twining leaves stir, drawing her gently into the Earth.

And the speckled stone squats motionless

At the side of the garden.

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