Where Ferns Unfurl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Iwould like to say that I am from the mountains
Deep in Appalachia,
Wherewild ferns unfurl at the
Banks of slow-flowing streams, and
Moss-coveredrocks
Lay a carpet
For tiny orange mushrooms and daddy longlegs,
Andstrange purple flowers with no name.
I would like to claim the thick pinetrees
With needles so sweet and
The smallest of cones litteringthe
Earth, and the harsh, black bark, and the
Sap flowing as blood throughthe veins,
Tall and thin and safe; I would like
To take that comfort andsay it was there that
I was born.
I want to taste the iron-waterand
Have it numb my lips with its cold purity.
I long for the surprise offinding an open meadow
After a walk through the forest,
And beg to beallowed
Just one more roll down the hill of stiff, yellow grass.
I want tostare at the moon on a night when
Cicadas are out and the whippoorwill callsloudly
In the purple air.
I want to look into the eyes of another
And beallowed to make a connection without speaking,
And understand, and acceptwithout resistance,
And not look away when the truth becomes too real.
Iwant to learn the language my ancestors hid,
Let the sounds roll from mytongue and
Not be afraid to claim my heritage.
I want to find that world Iknew when I was
Eleven years old,
And I want to remember what it was toknow
That greater spirit, that cycle of life and death,
The reason for myexistence, for the rock, and the spider,
And the rain. I want to understandthat love I felt
Before books of kings and hypocrisy broke the rules
and forgot the lives of all
But Man.
I would like to say that the chestnutsformed my eyes,
And that dark, coarse corn silk braided my hair,
And thebackyard creeks gave me life;
I would like to say that I belong to this life,but
I want to run from the scattered shards of human conflict,
Where mankills his brother, and children
Are tortured, their bodies burned, theirscreams silenced, their deaths
Used to serve as warning to the otherside.
Where still more children
Are torn in this evil we wantto
Ignore
And forget.
I want to catch the mountain in tight embrace andcling to her
Until the faces stop spinning
And the pain dies away
Andthe morning cleans my face and arms and
Sighs, and breathes,
Andlives.






This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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