by Jamie Elliott Keith

Blood and flesh and bone,
bequeathed to me, I raised you

to cleave to other geographies,
to leave me sliced open by the distance
that looms between us,

to leave me like an orphan grieving
at my own doorstep, to shutter
the windows of what I dreamed to be,
carelessly latching doors.

It’s as if I’d already seen you,
sights fixed on rock-strewn shores,
on flicker of foreign home fires,

striding across boundaries of river
and mountain, bold on your own,

leaving this small, green valley.

Jamie Elliott Keith lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and works as a community volunteer. Her work has appeared in such journals as Rust + Moth, The James Dickey Review, The Cape Rock, San Pedro River Review, and Third Wednesday. Her first chapbook, Past the Edge of Blue (2017), was published by Iris Press.