“In the Land of Oz”

A poem in homage to the last winter snow
where I live now, in Syracuse, NY, where
L. Frank Baum wrote many of the Oz books
I read as a child in Alabama, anticipating
my love of feminist science fiction and
lesbian adventure.

The side-snow is virgin surface, unmarked
except twigs fallen from a stripped oak,
no human footprint, or animal, to mar
the beginning, like the moon’s dirt before
the spaceship came. But I was never one
to take the first step. Instead I climbed
into the story, the rainbow-striped balloon,
up following her feet, then side-by-side,
drifted toward any emerald-spired town
where everyone could live a little odd. Yet,
so, here I am alone, walking one more time
around Rose Hill Cemetery, looking down
at the ice-petal prints going uphill, the worn
slushed path, because and glad my craving
body said Be brave and go ahead, the hot
mouth opened and stuck out its tongue,
to melt every jot and tiddle of snow that fell,
to eat and mate the strange pollen drifting
leisurely down from the otherworldly sky.

Minnie Bruce Pratt

Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivs
Creative Commons 2010

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