Poetry April 2005

Resin

audioear pictureHear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)

The needled air of the lodgepole.
Sting of pine at the base of your throat.
"A cold snap," he says. "Coming on."

Believing wasn't always hard.
The river forked in three: I knew
truth could go in different ways.

Corn was ripe when the tassels turned.
Late. Later still potatoes to be dug—
how far out, and how deep down,

I knew. Could slant the shovel right.
I'd use my hands now, claw deep
to better cup them, one by one,

as they let go their hold on earth.
This is the soil that I am from.
Those mountains—there, the Swan,

the Mission Range, and west the Salish—
they all washed down to fill this place.
We gained by their diminishment.

The harvest's passed to other hands.
The house is sold. The sap's curling
deep into the pines. "The weather's

turned," he says. I work the pump;
I try to slough the dirt stains off.
"Predictable as an Indian."

Presented by

Geri Doran works for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, in Woodside, California. Her forthcoming collection of poems, Resin, received the 2004 Walt Whitman Award.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In