Jessica Purdy

At the Mica Mine: Grafton, New Hampshire

With our husbands, we climb
the mine’s walls, to a ledge
where moss beds dressed with red flowers
cloak the blooming mica,

thin glassy sheaves of black and silver,
delicate petals, stiff as metal.

Our ascent leaves trails
of pulverized rock. Mica dust spirited on the air
glitters to the ground, settles in pockets,
seals to damp foreheads.

Our husbands ascend but we stay
to search among moss for amethyst,

to taste each moist and sparkling rock,
minerals of our fertile craving.

The air shimmers—
sediment sifting in the womb.

This mountaintop gives up its rock.
We won’t be the first to find
something even more rare, some impossible miracle
embedded in the precipice, and flowering.

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