Three Poems by Erin Dorney


The Root of Things 

I was one spit and one swallow 
one wasted one saved 
one truth and one lie 
a man a woman 
I was a choice in the dim light 
I was the best choice a non-choice 
like the morning




Real Mother

Their real mother told hearts as fake eyes, 
pretty blind rocks and strange sex fever talk.
I crossed out every love, 
regret that says scars read all dark, 
that says take me out, 
that says foxes come pretending and smoking. 
Their real mother told every child— 
take me far away.





These seeds were honest— 
pushed into the ground. 
Now, a flimsy table cradles 
a basket of peppers, 
cardboard quart boxes with rusted staples
filled with tomatoes
the color of goldenrod, 
onions and cucumbers flaked with soil.

A tin can, whitewashed, 
slot cut into the lid 
for money, the dollars I earned 
scrubbing the undersides of desks at school, 
boogers from inside lockers, 
my first summer job. 
This is the honor system.





Erin Dorney lives in Lancaster, PA. You can learn more about her at www.erindorney.com or follow her on Twitter.