Cradle to Grave

Deep roots.

 

My breath is the warm onshore breeze hissing through sawgrass,

The rattling clatter of autumn rushing down through the gnarled mountain rhododendron,

The slow summer exhale over fields of soybean and corn.

Winter winds falling all the way from snow-frosted mountains to the pluff-mud marshes.

 

My bones trace through stands of pine, red oak, and live oak, ancient and gnarled.

Through granite boulders and cliffs, high in the clear air,

Through rich, red clays and coastal loam.

 

My blood is black-water rivers, twisting through field and forest,

Deep lakes over drowned homes,

Tidal marshes, home to crab and heron,

And the salty edge of the Atlantic, eternally crashing on the shore.

 

I am rooted in the generations that lived and died,

Built and planted,

Sweated,

Danced,

Laughed,

And wept.

 

Where I go,

this land goes too.

 

When I finally rest,

This land will claim what remains.