Ellen McCammon


I wonder who stood here before me.
If the stones could talk,
Turn their weathered faces bearded
In moss and covered in lichen
To the sun to follow its warmth,
Lay down at night to dream deep dreams
Under the carelessly scattered riches of the stars,
The bright perfect
Pearl of the moon.
Their beds of peat and hay embrace them,
Saying, stay with me.
Lay down your secrets,
The touch of too many hands
The force of countless whispers and old songs
Wearing furrows in your brow,
The offerings that lay heavy on your heart.
You prefer the storm,
The way she rages and claws
Yet asks nothing
But a place to let go her burdens,
To drop her bunched-up skirts
Clutched knotted in her aching fingers
So the gathered water falls in sheets
On the face of the fields,
Who sigh and open their channels
And hidden places to accept the blessing.
When thunder speaks its pains
And lightning halos the hills in awful fire,
You remember what it is to be a mountain,
And stand tall.



Ellen McCammon is a queer Chicago-based creator interested in exploring gender and sexuality through folklore and myth. Her poetry has been published in Illumen Poetry magazine (as Anne Ellen Clarke) and Bi Women Quarterly. Her fiction has been published in Exponent magazine. You can follow her on twitter @bookpriestess.