A Matter of Gravity

Thrill-seekers,
joy-riders, and those
who are lost come here
to turn around.

No one arrives on purpose
but the writers with their
laptops and little notebooks,

digging around, intruding
upon the squirrels,
the cardinals, the crows,
and the bullfrogs
of the valley.

Bottom-lands: soil rich
from the run-off of nutrients
down the mountains.
Everything of value slides
like the map on a Yaqui
man’s face.

He’s sure it was here,
as he digs this way and that,
breaking the earth with
his spade until he can’t
sink any lower, until he
is forced to say, "I must
have missed it. What I wanted
to show you…I thought…
it was right here."
And, according to the book of maps, it was.

There is no history
of the decline,
the gradual weeping downward, the slow
descent that misplaces
all we once were.

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Belinda Bruner

Dr. Belinda Bruner recently retired from teaching English and Honors Humanities at Oklahoma State University. She comes from the forests of southeastern Oklahoma where she was reared in a family of singers and story-tellers. She is currently working on a novel based on her great-grandmother's time with Pancho Villa's militia. Belinda loves the forest, classic musicals, art, sunshine, the Spanish language, and the fact that she was conceived under a chinaberry tree during the Perseids meteor shower in the 60s.