the fairies mourn
By Amber Watkin
beneath the layer of dry dust, in the depths of the ground
soil cool to the touch in the heights of summer heat
reddening skin and salty sweat sliding down her brow
the little girl submerges her hands below and searches
mud caked under fingernails, palms gone dark with dirt
she looks for beautiful things / strange things / lost things
hiding from the sun and digging endlessly into the earth
an architect drawing up blueprints, a follower steadfast in her faith
fairy houses have to be small
they are made from: twigs, rocks, acorns, leaves, grass, weeds, cicada shells
and sweet smelling flowers / pretty suicide flowers / ophelia’s flowers
when she has completed her collection, she begins to construct
small, nimble fingers and centuries contained in a chest
she builds a home in the hollow between tree roots
beside the hole she has dug like two lovers laying together
an act of devotion / an ardent prayer / a place of worship
hiding from the sun and hiding from the world
endlessly into the earth, the little girl is digging a grave
she plucks things from the ground for her gods as she goes
but still she goes, the little girl is digging her own grave.
heartbeat aching in her head, the little girl will grow and lose religion
red skin gone ghostly white and summer sun collapsing below the horizon,
the flowers will smell twice as sweet when they lure her to the ground
ophelia in the water, the little girl will lay her head down and rest.
when they find her, she will be covered in flowers and acorns;
the fairies return the favor, the gods thank their loyal servant.
they wipe away sweat and tears, replace them with morning dew;
in heights of summer heat in the hollows between tree roots, the fairies will mourn.
my mother's hands