September 4, 2018

Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

THE TALE OF THE EARTH

There is an earth inside you
and he howls until his feet
pierce the space
between your hips.

You scream.
It sounds
half-wind,
half-bear.

Three pushes and he’s out,
face-down, slippery
as though covered
in huckleberry jam.

Put him to your breast,
lean back against the tree.
Introduce little Earth
to ancient Earth.

Tell them both how
they have oceans
and moons. Tell them both
how they’re held with stars.

from Tales from the House of Vasquez
Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner

__________

Raquel Vasquez Gilliland: “Nearly two years after having a nervous breakdown after the birth of my son, I started to examine this experience with poetry. Mental illness runs on my mother’s side of the family—with the Vasquez women, specifically—and in searching for the reasons why, I found stories. Some of these are from the lips of my grandmother and mother, some are ones I unearthed inexplicably, from the fertile dirt where poems grow.” (web)

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