It is one of those days that pushes language back on its heels,
a day of winnowing grain when the breeze picks up, a day that
scratches at my skin like the spiked red hulls of amaranth chaff.
I am left with a bowl of black seeds: tiny, punctuation-like and
inches deep. So much finality. Every generation, having read the
signs, thinks they are living in the end times, but we may be right.
This casual harvest—these spoils of accident that rode in on the
soil of my mother’s garden and were planted with the irises—
is not enough to last the winter. This bowlful will not save us.
M. Christine Benner Dixon lives, writes, and grows things in Pittsburgh, PA. She is quick to make a pun and slow to cut her grass. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Slice Magazine, Funicular, the Los Angeles Review, The Hopper, Fusion Fragment, Appalachian Review, and elsewhere. Her writing includes a collection of creative writing craft essays, co-authored with Sharon Fagan McDermott, forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press in 2023. Find her at bennerdixon.com.