Monday, November 24, 2008

WHAT SHE SAW AND WHAT SHE HEARD by Nancy Simpson

On the mountain a woman saw
the road bank caved in
from winter's freeze-thaw
and April rain erosion.

Trees leaned over the road the way
strands of hair hung on her forehead.
She gaped, her face as tortured
as the face she saw engraved in dirt.

Roots growing sideways shaped brows,
two eyes.  Humus washed
down the bank like a nose.
Lower down, where a rock

was shoved out by weathering,
a hole formed the shape of a mouth.
The woman groaned, Agh.
Her spirit toppled

to the ground, slithered
under the roots of an oak.
She stood there as if lost, asking
What?  Who?

Back to reason, back home
she finished her questions:
What can one make of the vision, that face
on the north side of the mountain?

Reckoning comes, a thought:
it is not the image of a witch nor a god,
but Earth's face, mouth open saying,
Save me.


Previously published in Pembroke Magazine
edited by Shelby Stephenson.



5 comments:

Lynn ... said...

Mmmmm .... I love this one, Mom. I can see it all in my head ... and always, ALWAYS, she's on the old road. Love it. LOVE it! I love you. See you soon!

Nancy Simpson said...

Lynn, Thanks for your comment.

Yes, she is walking on the old road, just below
the switchback.

Come on home.

Mom

Judy said...

Wow, powerful poem, Nancy. My mouth is gaping open right now. What a surprise ending. I love your poetry.

Tipper said...

Loved the surprise and power of this one!

Glenda C. Beall said...

As one who wants to save the earth, I've always loved this poem. Beautiful.
Glenda