Earth, Daughter, Life

                   Brian Lowry


You were six-months old and bundled

against my chest when we made our first

walk, through the open oak woods,

to the dawn-fired lake. A dragonfly

danced for you. Your eyes followed.


In the seven years since, it’s been

your pleasure to stand on the shore

and holler towards the far trees, awaiting

an echo you never fail to hear.


A new voice will come to you.

Your steps will be portioned out

like dandelion seeds sailing

out on your breath.


I’ll make subsequent walks

in the company of a quiet guest.


I’ll take the false pennyroyal

we crushed into my handkerchief

and shift it from hand to hand

while fallen aspen leaves

scamper over my feet.


Brian Lowry writes from the southern Indiana farm he shares with his wife and young daughter. His creative work has appeared in Farming Magazine: People, Land, and Community; New Southerner; Ruminate Magazine; Avocet; The Herald Sparrow; The Quill; in HGTV's book, Flower Gardening; on WFPL radio's "HomeGrown”; and in several newspapers. He is the 2007 winner of Ruminate Magazine’s Annual Poetry Contest. He is a 2008 Finalist for the New Southerner Literary Contest. Two of his poems will be included in an upcoming anthology on Hoosier Nature Poetry. He serves as a middle school counselor and English teacher.