Saturday Poetry – ‘She Told Me the Earth Loves Us’ by Anne Haven McDonnell
This week’s Saturday Poetry brings you the soul-stirring poem titled ‘She Told Me the Earth Loves Us’ by Anne Haven McDonnell. She is the author of Breath on a Coal (Middle Creek Press, 2022) and Living with Wolves (Split Rock Press, 2020). She teaches creative writing and climate justice at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.
For this edition of Saturday Poetry, we have paired Haven McDonnell’s emotive words with mobile art by the talented @c.serrano.photography with the captivating artwork complementing the poem’s essence beautifully, creating a symphony of emotions.
To view the others we have published in this section, go here.
‘She Told Me the Earth Loves Us’ by Anne Haven McDonnell
She said it softly, without a need
for conviction or romance.
After everything? I asked, ashamed.
That’s not the kind of love she meant.
She walked through a field of gray
beetle-pored pine, snags branching
like polished bone. I forget sometimes
how trees look at me with the generosity
of water. I forget all the other
breath I’m breathing in.
Today I learned that trees can’t sleep
with our lights on. That they knit
a forest in their language, their feelings.
This is not a metaphor.
Like seeing a face across a crowd,
we are learning all the old things,
newly shined and numbered.
I’m always looking
for a place to lie down
and cry. Green, mossed, shaded.
Or rock-quiet, empty. Somewhere
to hush and start over.
I put on my antlers in the sun.
I walk through the dark gates of the trees.
Grief waters my footsteps, leaving
a trail that glistens.
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