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Featured Poem II • March 2014




Beth Cato


the young girl filled her pockets with dirt of the field let it warm against her hips on the long drive home home, where Mama fussed and hollered, and sisters cried her bedtime lullaby of gunshots and squealing tires from the apartment trash she unearthed two old mason jars her fingers shoveled the soil within she set the jars on the sill that faced morning inside, she planted her two favorite plastic horses ones named Black Beauty and Mr. Bojangles purchased at the dollar store at First and Ivy she watered them with a lipstick-stained Dixie cup nestled her chin on her forearms, and waited hours and weeks and forevers of school days Mama’s door slams rattling bones and jars until hard hooves broke through crusted dirt danced in small circles within her soft palm to her joy, they smelled of mud and greenery on the wind MADE IN CHINA still imprinted on inner hind legs she shared with them her favorite Cheetoes and Pepsi so like her, they’d grow up big and strong so strong, that someday they’d bust down that door gallop down the stairs and those tight city streets in search of the dirt from which they were born where car tires whisper and crickets chirp in verse



Beth_CBeth Cato’s debut steampunk novel Clockwork Dagger will be released by HarperCollins Voyager in September 2014. She’s originally from Hanford, California, but now resides in Arizona with her husband and son. Her short fiction, poetry, and tasty cookie recipes can be found at http://www.bethcato.com.

About “Seeds,” she writes, “This poem is one I struggled to write and revise over a period of six months. I knew she planted the toy horses, but I had to discover why and what became of them after germination. It took me a long time to realize it was really about the magic of hope.”



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