“Bottom Land” by Mary Imo-Stike

This bottom land where our house sits
was once an ancient river’s bed,
flat in a land of mountains,
made by the delicious push
and leaden mass
of water.

Our garden, behind the house, gives up
rounded loaves of rock,
miniature manatees I want to nuzzle
then release back to their silent nests of soil.
Some imitate the tiny moons of planted planets
with fine tawny mineral lines,
strands of ochre, rusty amber,
and verdigris entwined with red coral,
spidering across their circumferences.

In dreams
I reach in to this base beneath my feet,
knead aside the round brown rolls
of molasses colored soil,
grasp and pull up 
ginger-orange painted pottery pieces
I discarded centuries ago.

Mary Imo-Stike was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She worked non-traditional jobs as a railroad track laborer, a plumber, boiler operator and gas line inspector. Mary received her MFA from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2015 and served as the poetry co-editor of HeartWood literary journal. Mary’s poems have been published in many journals, and her chapbook In and Out of the Horse Latitudes was published in 2018 by Finishing Line Press.