by Joanna Gardner

The dead tree was invisible
until the mist moved in, blanking
the morning's everything

but bare branches and sparrows
alight on brittle wooden knuckle
bones. How many loaves

has the crone by the well
brought into being? Kneaded
on the board in her lap, the dough

begins to breathe, flecks of bran
in the gluten's gleam. The things
we've carried water to: onion starts,

the bird bath, a crippled dog who sleeps
with one paw touching someone else
so what wakes one will wake us all.

'Be' by Roseau

Joanna Gardner lives in New Mexico and is an assistant fiction editor at the journal Many Mountains Moving. Her poems and stories have appeared in Drops of Crimson, Halfway Down the Stairs, Expanded Horizons, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, and others. She goofs around online at www.joannagardner.com, and her favorite fruit is a sun-warmed blackberry fresh off the bramble.

Illustration: 'Be' by Roseau.

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