Jenn Gutiérrez

Naturing Field Trip

Aspens grew gold, we shouted—beauty!
They shot back—death.
Scoured the ground for corpses,
disturbing only magpies in a private wake,
but where our steps fell louder,
than these tap-tap keystrokes, with printed
tendency to bleed, the raucous applause
which follows, far too well rejoined.
A mother with her child,
exercising maxim—explore,
but leave no trace. The forest phantoms dally,
hushed this token nod.  

Policymakers try out newly cut stamps.
But in a falling-off-hinges studio,  
halfway across town—every town,
an artist molds his own.
Out of clay, he’ll carve the statue of a man.
To this the ancient concept tribute.
The only walls that hold,
are those so rudely hewn from tools less tangent.

I was a girl of the woods.
My forts still hold.  

Schoolrooms in September.
Rubrics, set baselines,
to the victor find all spoils.
Mill levy affluence our dirty secrets,
and in the urban failures,
our hearts not weep.
We are all united, they platform,
a greatest race.
Belittle those below the mark.
Take pensions, bus the offspring
to districts unfamiliar.
Steal the recess, rob the lunches.
At any lengths—proficient.  
Old oak and maples scream now silent
for getting lost like Rabbit in thick mist.  

Believing in divine, we tarry
on this bark-shed edge of  green meets end.
Toward mountains, over streams,
a lesson there all strewn.
Arithmetic in leaf vines.
A chorus, the wind through hollowed trees.
Write with feathers, bind with twine,
the sprites in playful yield.
A mother with her child—
a leaden gift.

I am full today
with binded prayers
    worth breaking.

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