by Kelly Lenox

We pulse over the ledge—
split, rejoin.
Shimmy through log jam.
Jade the pool.

Some of us run the rock shaft
thirty feet into the mine.
Locked gate:
generational rust.

A sister found root, found fern.
Joined a spruce and remained

Another inverts the world
from penstemon leaf and would stay
but for those who come after,
weighty with questions.

The tribe seeping
through mossy rock-thrust
cracks the boulders
till they tumble.

Together we leap, chlorophyll
tang spicing our thunder.

Burnt stump rips away—
we glisten the secret
stone in its heart.

KELLY LENOX’S debut collection, The Brightest Rock (2017), received honorable mention in the 2018 Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Hubbub, EcoTheo ReviewSplit Rock Review, and elsewhere in the U.S and abroad. She has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Kelly holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. (www.kellylenox.com)

Photo: “Glenelg River, Harrow” by Chris Fithall