Elemental Conception

She wants to grow from the rich-rotten trunk
of the stamp left to sprout in the chain-linked
alley yard. She wants to be born there.

Or out of dry wind rushing debris around
and cleaning the world like a slate that
hasn’t yet written how her birth will be

if she be born slick-wet and shimmering
in rings like gas spill, born from long trickles
run off curb-piled snow that flows in curtains

any northern winter when it is possible to burn
in water, when flakes against skin so cold brand
their pattern on the new-thought, engraved self.

Heid E. Erdrich, “Elemental Conception” from The Mother’s Tongue. Copyright © 2005 by Heid E. Erdich. Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.
Source: The Mother’s Tongue (Salt Publishing, 2005)
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