The Law of Germinating Seeds

by Rose Lemberg

a tree in winter, my
consciousness shifts into seeds
scattered by September's breath, lulled by November, oh
autumn was love-work when I spread
my branches heavy with unplanted harvest, gathered
the roots' bounty. Singing, I stretched beyond land
into timelessness, the nurturing treecurrent underneath
and headlong into the sussurrus of rain, into the hardening
of windsong — the reedpipes, the cinnabar. Now
buried in winter's unpassing, these seeds are too small
for consciousness: birdseed unfit for the pecking,
buried, pebbleturned,
unfit even to rot,
frozen; and with these seeds I am sundered
from branch and leaf,
from the life-traveling trunk and the roots
that bind my land together, that stretch beyond land
to speak saptruth unto the parched stars,
to sing ships home with future memory. Oh, but oh,
weak with my own absence, I will walk
alone, and loose my hair over the ground
as slow as falling snow in darkness; I will make 
my mouth the earth,
and speak the law of germinating seeds:
of what is sown of loss, to hope
of what is buried, to become.

Rose Lemberg is a queer immigrant from Eastern Europe. Her work has appeared in Goblin Fruit, Apex, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interfictions, and other venues; her poetry has won the Rannu competition, placed in the Rhysling award (with a Goblin Fruit poem!), and has been awarded other honors. Rose edits Stone Telling, a magazine of boundary-crossing poetry, with Shweta Narayan. She has edited Here, We Cross, an anthology of queer and genderfluid speculative poetry from Stone Telling (Stone Bird Press), and The Moment of Change, an anthology of feminist speculative poetry (Aqueduct Press), and is currently working on a new anthology, An Alphabet of Embers. For more information about Rose, please visit her website and @roselemberg.

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