Where I Come From

by Tasha Cotter

After George Ella Lyon

I come from hunting seasons

and hybrid bass. High school

boys chewing tobacco in the halls.

Kilts and silks and my mother’s wedding

dress. A symphonic band and two

rows of clarinets. Sinking creeks

and glittering crawdads. Angus

beef and brown miniature

ponies. I’m from Butch and Bonnie;

black labradors and tiny terriers.

I’m from card tables and drive-thru

windows. I’m from Nickelodeon

and Looney Tunes. I’m from Sunday

afternoon baloney sandwiches

and summer bonfires beside the pond.

I’m from sinkholes and paintball guns.

The best horse who wouldn’t be tamed.

What I don’t know, I pay for. I come from

falling off and getting back on.

The City

by Tasha Cotter

If I had to define desire lines, it would start with inspiration

pounding our hearts open. What do you keep of the white

space, knowing the rest will be sent away? Of all the paths built

around your life, the city and its web of sidewalks, all shades

of green and gray, the million-mile embrace of the roads

across the globe, you chose a cut-through to coffee; A short-cut

that made a forbidden track. I praise these parades of life. How the cows,

too, are on the lookout for better paths to their favorite ponds.

In their own way, they must surely be asking, what makes the most sense?

We’re a holy cohort of believers, needing the new, and we don’t need

to be told the long way is a better way when we found the way ourselves.