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76 | ecotone Nurse Log todd davis Bend back the bark of the world, which is its skin, which is the way we learn how veins carry blood away from the heart, then back into its echoing chambers. I’m tired of hearing about the kind of men who would kill me, the news of bombs going off in endless loops on late-night TV. In the forest above our house a fisher stalks porcupines, and every so often I find their torn bodies, once even a corpse in the crotch of a white oak. Its animal face lay open, empty and red where the fisher’s teeth had bitten down to avoid the quills and to keep the belly meat untouched. In nature there is waste that good grows out of, an abundance we are called to use. In spring when we coax the bees toward a new hive, Alverdia fetches her wooden spoon and metal washbasin, stands beneath the shad and pawpaw trees whose blossoms the bees cover, whose limbs sprout ten thousand wings, and there she drums the basin and hums a song she’s made for herself and for this swarm that will follow her anywhere. This isn’t the news of the world most of us live in. Two streams meet in the floodplain, where wet fires of rot lap against fallen hemlocks. Five seedlings have sprung up along one of the logs, nursing decay | 77 like piglets down a sow’s length, or like an infant in a desert village suckling a mother’s breast, oblivious to the murmur of planes crossing overhead. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2165-2651
Print ISSN
1553-1775
Pages
pp. 76-77
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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