by Penelope Scambly Schott

There’s enough moss to go around
is what I say to myself.

When I lived on the East coast
moss said only North,

but here in rainy western Oregon
moss proclaims I embrace.

The circumference of each branch
is wrapped in Old Man’s Beard.

When I must abandon my used body
in this damp forest,

moss will whisper Welcome, sister
as it dresses my ivory bones.


Penelope Scambly Schott‘s verse biography A is for Anne: Mistress Hutchinson Disturbs the Commonwealth received an Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Recent books include Serpent Love: A Mother-Daughter Epic about a struggle with her adult daughter, along with an essay in which the daughter gives her point of view, and Bailing the River, a poetry collection full of dogs, coyotes, and the unsolvable and sometimes funny mysteries of the ordinary. Her newest is House of the Cardamom Seed. Penelope lives in Portland and Dufur, Oregon where she teaches an annual poetry workshop.