Academic journal article TriQuarterly

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Academic journal article TriQuarterly

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Article excerpt

Good Friday, the conifers are rich in resin. A cemetery near my house hides a stand of long leaf and spruce.

Sly young girl, I sneak out of school, go home, make myself clean. I snag the old man's raveling cardigan off the back-porch nail, wrap up like a secret, and slip out through the root cellar, past the crab apple full of jays who suddenly cry my name, and enter the rutty field. I am lost in frost fog, the dead brass of bean waste, dry wind fills my ear, my feet grow hard, cold, heavy, they rise, fall, rise on chalky furrows, jabbed by sharp-edged clods thrown up by fall plowing.

Then, I'm across. I scramble up a small hill and emerge, sweaty, blown, at the graves. At the tree, the white pine, its harp-shaped body dark in thin sunlight. The lower branches swirl the ground and I crawl under.

Dim. A held breath of cinnamon and rot. …

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