Cover image: Equisetum sylvaticum, by Anna Atkins & Anne Dixon. Cyanotype, 1853. Courtesy of J. Paul Getty Museum.
Release date: September 28, 2013 [150 copies]
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William Kelley Woolfitt teaches creative writing and American literature at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. He is the author of two chapbooks: The Salvager’s Arts (poetry), co-winner of the Keystone Prize, and The Boy with Fire in His Mouth (fiction), winner of the Epiphany Editions contest. His poems and stories appear in Shenandoah, Michigan Quarterly Review, Threepenny Review, New Ohio Review, Appalachian Heritage, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, River Styx, Tin House‘s Flash Friday feature, Virginia Quarterly Review’s Instapoetry Series, and elsewhere. He has hiked a thousand miles of the Appalachian Trail and canoed the Chibougamau lake system in central Quebec; he explores the back roads of West Virginia whenever he can.
Farm Knowledge (ii)
We are the branches. In the vine we abide.
I think I better understand words like these
when I recall his half-runner and pole beans
that looped and twined around the stakes
he lashed together in teepee frames.
Those scraggly green tendrils
would climb anything,
braid around each other like helix chains,
hog-tie the bean pods so tightly
that when picking beans,
he had to break the vines. Now he is gone,
but his life is in me.
Rain is in the blossom, sun is in the seed.
The times of together and without
blur at steam-train-speed. The word tree
fills the cells of the clingstone peaches
we eat, the earth soaks the farmer’s-
market vegetables we stir-fry in sesame oil.
Part of you stays with me sprouts through
the rotten log of good-bye.