For two weeks every year
we return to the weft
of mountains where
my mother’s ancestors
lived. Across the ridge,
the hair of each tree
branch blows separate
from the woods below.
On the pastured hillside
are the bones of my
greats and I wonder
if they could imagine
me here. Well, not
me, but the idea
of me. It’s hard
to hate this place.
It’s hard to love
this place. In town,
buying ice, I overhear
an employee asking
another if he likes
the night shift. All day,
I could watch the movie
of the clouds, the ardor
of weather. At night,
I follow the moon trailing
from ridge to ridge.
So far, this has been
the most difficult year
of my life, and I want it
to be a long one, my life.

Rachel Morgan is the author of the chapbook, Honey & Blood, Blood & Honey (Final Thursday Press, 2017). She is a coeditor of Fire Under the Moon: An Anthology of Contemporary Slovene Poetry, and her work is included in the anthology Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America and recently appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, and Barrow Street. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. She was a finalist for the 2017 National Poetry Series and winner of the 2020 Fineline Competition. Currently she teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and is an editor for the North American Review.