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 The Words

The land is feeling small gladly, squat against the mountain peaks on a clear day.

The land is cottonwood wound along the river gurgling.

The land is the feel of moist dirt in the morning after a night of gentle rain falling.

The land is wildness and the way wildness smells — sweet and flowery, grassy and green, decaying and peaty, the flavor of the land.

The land is crescent coves cut into rock and crescent moons in a black sky illumined.

The land is tears, pain, is tore up and consumed and vomited back up again.

The land is midnight running through surf and mist and salt-smelling contented aloneness.

The land is being covered in mud and dirty celebrated fingernails.

The land is a deep breath under the trees blanketing.

The land is silky pasture grass dancing.

The land is the idea of something sacred, mysterious, undissected, unowned.

The land is forestland, farmland, pastureland, wetland.

The land is an ache and a yearning for what fades like hot breath on a cold window pane.

The land is finger threads of roots pricking and searching through the pores of the soil.

The land is within as well as without, an idea and a place.

The land is the dirt beneath my wandering feet.
- Erin Wade