Planting Beans by the Moon on a Small City Balcony
I'm no Juliette, that's for sure,
though the moon winks like a fat Romeo,
and this tenth floor stage
offers no earthy base beneath my feet.
Long from the hills I've traveled,
my fingers ache the dark crumble of soil,
that geography of blue jay and hoot owl,
of garden bright and fragrant.
This wide tray gorged with packaged dirt
will have to do for now.
Bean seeds nestle my palm
like warm bird eggs.
I can hear my grandmother:
poke one finger in the soil knuckle deep,
bless the seeds and pat them to bed
like you would tired children,
turn three times against the wind,
then jig as the calling hits you.
Her mountain superstitions ringing
in my ear, I sow my crop,
spin for my waxing Romeo,
hope my neighbors aren't watching
this mad country woman
jigging her love story to the night,
then I wait for the earth to speak:
that voice of green faith rising.
Allison Thorpe is the author of the chapbook Dorothy's Glasses (Finishing Line Press). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in So To Speak, Roanoke Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, The Tipton Review, Hamilton Stone Review, and the anthology Forgotten Women (Grayson Books).