Issue > Poetry
Devon Moore

Devon Moore

Devon J. Moore is a native of Buffalo, NY. She currently lives in Syracuse, NY where she teaches writing at Syracuse University and Le Moyne College. Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Foothill, Ovenbird, Cider Press Review, Harpur Palate and Stone Canoe. Her first poetry book, Apology of a Girl Who Is Told She Is Going to Hell, is forthcoming from Mayapple Press in April 2015.

Burial

"Soil is a record of the past." - from Organic Gardening magazine

The knotweed, the hawkweed,
the pigweed, the violets from
the acidic soil. From city to city
I carry my dad's ashes, carry his eyes
in my head, bear witness to the places
he could lay rest. The windswept places,
the blackberry borders, those disease-
prone hybrid tea roses, a persimmon tree.
When I bring him home, I think
today I could be a rosy-cheeked matriarch
digging a hole, today I could be a messenger
like the weeds, today I could be clover or
the smell of my grandma's eucalyptus tree
that died last year. Today I could be
the deepest taproot making its way to a vein
of water through the saltiest earth,
the water that I drank
and my dad drank
and my grandma drank
and we all pissed out
into the creeping soft-grass,
the nettles, the spear thistle,
the nightshades, and through the air
to the gathering sky. The hurricanes
came and it rained
and it rained. When
the eye looked over us I stood there,
knee-deep in the ocean that came
to my grandma's front porch,
all the roses around me drowning,
the pecan tree uprooted,
its roots a tangled
mass of dying paths
once tunneling
through the under-earth
looking so much like dendrites
tendriling, exposed,
without a brain,
all the space the tree had made
to get what it needs
and no place left to go,
and I thought what a body,
what an upside down burial,
what another wasted
opportunity to open
an urn, what a glistening
black dirt gap, what a hole.

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