Erica M. Breen


First to greet the Mother.
I run straight down across clean sand—
to the edge where she calls, murmurs, caresses

washes the hems of the earth, washes
my feet in stinging salty foam.
Cold laced with strength,

each wave sucks
and scours at the sand under my toes.
Sun glinting, waves

sighing one into another,
The horizon draws my eye, unzipping
memories of peace.

Turning, walking with her,
I believe again with my toes and nostrils.

I worship, give thanks, seek understanding
from the songs of waves,

rushing, roaring,
stitched with a high seagulls’ cry.

After a long walk,
sated, I return
to sit on the dry sand,

warm grains of truth between my toes.
Like holding hands, like flying
a bass harmony lifts me

beyond struggle,
cleansed and salted,
ready to begin again.



Greeting me,
last night’s kale trimmings
lounge upon the counter,
ruffles of purple and yellowing green.

Today’s work will be
a continuation of yesterday’s:
compost what we didn’t eat,
clean up what we didn’t compost,
wipe down what we didn’t clean.

Buried in outdated tasks, the unwashed pots,
the floors not swept,
the future is doubtful,
best not thought of.
Like remembering a sunny day in the middle of a snowstorm,
it seems irrelevant, unreachable.

The best I can do
is chop the kale, rinse the knife,
sweep all into the soup,
wipe clean tomorrow’s chopping board.


Erica M. Breen (she/her) is a homestead farmer, home educator and poet living on a mountainside in rural Vermont. She writes from an evolving connection with the Earth in this place, and is fascinated by the cycles humans share with our fellow creatures. Her work has been published in The Connecticut River Review.