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48   Tonic The wind cuts, my nose drips, my fingers burn then numb, gloves left behind in the almost April. On my grandmother’s old land, the new owner knows my purpose, waves me on to the fields spotted with new growth. With trowel and paper sack, I seek that dark green delicacy, creecy greens, dry land cress, served with vinegar and egg to purify slow winter blood. My grandmother’s habit urges me out toward spring that lies in fat buds at field’s edge, redbuds and dogwoods wait for the call of sunlight. Though ice laces creek banks, young frogs peep as shadows grow long, the clouds slow down. I think of a warm kitchen, cornbread, and bitter greens cleansing my grandmother’s blood, which flows strong in me. ...


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