Amber by Jeanne DeLarm-Neri

Before the boots wore out we found
a vast ridge of desert hills to cross,
villagers to meet, other hands to hold.
We talk like we did at fourteen,
tucked under blankets miles separated,
at three a.m. Back then, the phone cord
stretched to the end of its coil.
We stayed quiet as mice in walls
but not quiet at all – stop that scurrying!
Sleep now. The unconscious has surfaced.
Blood pumps DNA –it twists, dances.
We’re ancients, you and I.
The liquid of us received the fall of gnats
and wasps – their wings fell into us,
fossilized. These chunks of amber
once flowed free. We forget how blocks
form, how eons compress into the size
of postal cartons till we feel the rush
that made them, when sap oozed
and plasma shimmered in its puddles,
back when the exciting conduit transported
the minerals of what we’ve become.

Though Jeanne DeLarm-Neri has written poetry and stories for her entire life, she also earns a living in other fields, particularly as a bookkeeper at a private school, and as a vendor of antiques. Her poems and short fiction have been published in two anthologies (In Gilded Frame 2013 and Poems Of The Super-Moon, 2015), and several literary journals, one of which, Slipstream, nominated a poem for the Pushcart Prize. In 2014 and 2015 she was a contributor at the  Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She’s currently working on a book of poems and a novel.

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