This selection, chosen by guest editor Shlagha Borah, is from Of the Forest by Linda Ferguson, released by The Poetry Box in 2022.
Camping, Circa 1970
My chocolate-eyed brother croons to me from his sleeping bag. Sprinkle of pine needles on the roof of our blue tent. Canvas walls a lullaby cradling the ghost of marshmallow smoke. Eyes closed, I see a cinnamon tree stump perched on the hill beyond. My brother says the stump is a small bear. I want it to be a bear. I want to rest my cheek against the bear’s side and feel his warm ribs rising. I want to hold all the bear’s sighs in my arms. I want him to sing to me all my life.
Shlagha Borah (she/her) is a poet from Assam, India. Her work appears in Salamander, Nashville Review, Identity Theory, Longleaf Review, Variant Literature, Rogue Agent, and elsewhere. She is pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is an Associate Poetry Editor at Grist. She has received support for her work from Brooklyn Poets and Sundress Academy for the Arts. She is the co-founder of Pink Freud, a student-led collective working towards making mental health accessible in India.
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