Three women live in me,
one, her long night hair atangle touching the smooth boards of a porch, lying down, facing up, knee bent, skin brown, elbow crooked, palm on head she may be sleeping (breath-starved humidity of afternoon), does not move; aside a shallow path two women, heads wrapped in white cloth sit sorting ivory grubs collected that morning on large flat baskets: they smile.

The road, red clay, washed away, we could go no further.

Three women live in me, movement and stillness, I call them up to wonder are they alive or moved or died. I’ll just have to say it out, no metaphors, no search for symbols:

there is life

happening across this world, around it, inside it at the instant tea touches your lips in the morning; you: not alone in your husk, it is happening, right now, you, me, separated by our skins
I recollect right now the dog to my left the hickory in Delaware trout on my hook woman on the night side of the earth sleep live die rot bloom hurt thrive divide fail rest labor everything you
are alone and not alone, you, cup for all things allow the lives you find to remind you remind you you life everywhere and all the time, not as we believe we are by nature’s design of skin and skull;

I recollect she may no longer rest on the porch but something, something is happening right now, right there, on that small piece of earth.

Photo by roya ann miller on Unsplash

Lori Heninger

Lori Heninger is a writer, poet and nonprofit executive. She is the author of “Managing As Mission: Nonprofit Managing for Sustainable Change”, and a book of poetry for children titled “Outside/Inside/Outside”.

Lori has written poetry starting at age 13 with an urban 4-H program and has never stopped; she is currently writing with Project Write Now in Red Bank, NJ. Lori lives in rural New Jersey with her husband, two dogs, a cat, eight chickens and a dove. She has a daughter and one grandson, and blows glass as a hobby. Lori graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Social Work and from City University with a PhD in Social Welfare.