Julia Thacker

Braid Him Into the Earth
September 24, 2022 Thacker Julia

Braid Him Into the Earth


Knee-high coffin of wicker, earth-boat floating through the woods.
Wrap him in heather, the old way. Hold a pocket mirror under his nose.
Say of him what we say of fathers.


If one of you has a three-string, then a tune.
Boots, stamp away spirits. If the ground is frozen,
dig shallow, spade ringing through ice, shale, mica-shine.


Lower the basket in a tangle of ginseng root, because I can’t.
Let well water seep into crevices, mineral, like nickels
on the tongue. Skin freckling in feldspar, beetle, slug.


If flood waters drift the body loose, let him not be found by a child.
Let bones wash up with clay pipes, beads, thumb-size skulls.
Let them whiten and scatter in blond fields.

Julia Thacker‘s poems appear or are forthcoming in Bennington ReviewThe Massachusetts ReviewPleiades and The New Republic. Twice a fellow of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, she has also received fellowships from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe, the National Endowment for the Arts and Yaddo. A portfolio of her work is included in the 25th Anniversary Issue of Poetry International.