Saturday, 19 October 2019

Haunting the Understory

by Jeannie E. Roberts

Where asters scatter and fungi thrive, M. uniflora
grows. Wan and curving, in pallid-colored groupings,

ghost plants haunt the understory, lift like ballerinas
from stage Earth’s trap door.

Inhabitants of the unseen world plié, move as traces,
share lonesome spaces, where greenery’s pockets

swell in soil of abundance. As light pirouettes,
spectral forms echo humanity’s division, a company

of the haves and have-nots perform in distant orbits,
yet, upon the same stage.

*                      *                     *                       *

The plight of homelessness is increasing in rural
America; despite its existence, it remains
a hidden crisis. Like the ghost plant, invisibility
besets the homeless. In compassionate effort,
we must create awareness, cultivate brighter
stories as we reform the dance, lift our brothers
and sisters toward united orbits, where humanity’s
stage can become one in the soil of abundance. 

* * * * *

Jeannie E. Roberts has authored six books, including The Wingspan of Things (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), Romp and Ceremony (Finishing Line Press, 2017), Beyond Bulrush (Lit Fest Press, 2015), and Nature of it All (Finishing Line Press, 2013). She is also author and illustrator of Rhyme the Roost! A Collection of Poems and Paintings for Children (Daffydowndilly Press, an imprint of Kelsay Books, 2019) and Let's Make Faces! (author-published, 2009). Her work appears in print and online in North American and international journals and anthologies. She holds a B.S. in secondary education, M.A. in arts and cultural management, and is poetry editor of the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. When she’s not reading, writing, or editing, you can find her drawing and painting, or outdoors photographing her natural surroundings.