Kneeling at the wasp drummed creek
of you, where the blank elm whitens
into chalk, I am not consoled.
Everywhere is dusk and oiled crow,
slatted sky and the wind’s torn harp.
There is no entering you
you of the weed scrubbed ochre field,
you of the spider rooted grasses taking hold,
you who have let the landscape enter you
crowding out every thing that thirsts.
I thirst, and find no slaking
here on my knees on the caked gravel bank
of you, the droughty ash laden parch
of you, the wrung creekbed of your depleted rill,
so I will leave you to your own arid beck
and call forth my own monsoon with this
petition to every thing that rains and floods,
to every thing that’s blue and wet and soaking
and I will drink and drink and drink and bathe
and drench the unyielding dust of you until
I am clean and you unfurl and bloom.

LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher from northern Minnesota. Her poems have appeared in Antiphon, Alba, Red River Review, Eclectica, Pirene’s Fountain, and CALYX, among other journals and anthologies, and she was a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize and the Late Blooms Postcard Series. Muhm is a recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants in Poetry in 2006 and 2012, and has been featured twice in the “What Light” poetry sponsored by the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Art Museum. Her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass (Loonfeather Press, 2008) was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award in Poetry. Muhm is currently pursuing her MFA at Sierra Nevada College.