the north fork

Barefoot, sifting through October ground
packing turtle bones for medicine.
One day she will no longer be
a woman who cries coyote but for now
she isn’t from here.  Of here.  Such an artist gathering
artifacts from the outside of a prayer. She wants
to step inside. She wants to know where women go
to get quiet. Asks the prairie grass. And this
water’s edge speaks back: Comes the day,
comes a man, banded hat, three eagle feathers,
singing her a map, an inventory of cloud
and thunder. Until then she stands
here, waiting for the storm.
Until then, unsure.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

8 responses to “the north fork

  1. Somber and lonely, in a beautiful way. I knew you would write something suitable for this photo. Well done!

  2. John Riley

    “She wants to step inside.” Loneliness.

  3. one of the most beautiful things i’ve read in a long time. love love love it. x j

  4. what a wonderful photo. Your words are well chosen too to match the mood of the photo…

    • redmitten

      thank you! took me a bit of time to arrive at what i was feeling that day, standing still along the north fork, feeling all that weather “coming in”. good to hear from you!

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