Taken To The Soil by Beth Ruscio


In late September, the ground he picked out
warm yet, the boy lay down.   His human days,
over, he had taken, quite devoutly
to the soil.  Fall was heavy, drifts of rust
ballast for the voyage. He felt the knot
in his stomach un-sprool, become tap
root, his spine dowse for a vein of loam. He let
his lungs fill with spores, dust, the cast-off wings
of insects. He matched his breath to the suck
of the wind as glint ebbed to thrum, then hush,
he let the earth hear him out.
                                                  Each day,
before school, his sister fills a bottle
from the tap, carries it to him by the neck.
Evenings, she scatters coffee grounds
flecked with gleaming eggshells, and quietly,
she stretches out next to him, their faces
                                                  close as crossing lights.


Beth Ruscio–her first paying job was detasseling corn, her second, acting with her late parents, both actors. Her manuscript Raucous Spell Of Light is a three time semi-finalist (Crab Orchard First Poetry Book & Perugia Press). Her poems published in Cultural Weekly, In Posse Review, Spillway, Malpais Review, Poetry Flash and anthologized in Conducting A Life: The Theatre of Maria Irene Fornes, and Beyond The Lyric Moment.