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  • Christine Delea

soil by Irène P. Mathieu

soil

by Irène P. Mathieu

from the book orogeny, 2016 Bob Kaufman Prize, Trembling Pillow Press


the way you say soil sounds

like soul, as in


after she walked through the woods

my feet were covered in soul


when it rains

the soul turns to mud


the soul is made of decomposed

plant and animal matter;


edaphology is the study of the soul’s

influence on living things


while pedology is the study of how

soul is formed, its particular granularity.


you are rooted in a certain red patch

of soul that bled you and your


hundred cousins to life, a slow

warm river you call home.


maybe there is soul under everything,

even when we strike rock first.


the way you say soil you make

a poem out of every speck of dirt.




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