“Nowhere” by K.J. Kindling

Under a moon
that was too bright
in a field
I no longer know
was a girl I barely know now-
holding her palms out
to the night sky
because it was as close as
she could get to
escaping.

Our restless heart
is the only thing
that tethers those worlds
together.

That girl didn’t care
that she was dripping in
moon beams
or
that the weather was just chilly
enough
to become aware of her body,
or,
that summer then was
endless freedom
as soon as her chores were done.

She’d trade anywhere for here.
Any age for this one.

Her world is an alfalfa field,
a fence line she jumps
only to find another and she can’t
decide if they’re here to keep her
in or out.
It’s a pond too shallow
to drown in, and thistles
are her deepest
cut.
She catches frogs in
silver moonlit waters
to feel like she’s holding
life in her hands.

Flowers she picks for her mom
are her closest touch of hand
with death.

The soles of her feet
know the difference between
clay, dust, sand, and soil.
There’s too much of the first three
for anything but
alfalfa and thistle
to grow here.
Some nights she pretends she’s
somewhere else – full moons
she can’t.
In that much light she sees everything.

She doesn’t understand that
not all air is as easy to breathe
as nowhere.
Not all fields are hiding
Indian Paint Brush
that sway in agreement
when she confides
her dreams to them.
Not all night skies are
gardens for stars
with moons big enough
to harvest.

-*

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K.J. Kindling is a seventh generation Coloradoan, a life long poet, a feminist, a rescue dog enthusiast, and a naturalist. She currently calls Denver, Colorado, home and is working on getting her first book published, Arcadia or Bust. You can find more poems of hers on Instagram at @kj.kindling.

Featured photo: Jason Blackeye

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