By Jessica Walters
Let not shame develop taproots in the corners of yourself.
Let fireweed burn like an afterimage—a flame in the darkness of uncertain nights.
In the morning, open the mullioned windows of yourself and let scent of tangled honeysuckle
drift in and with it the vole and squirrel.
Let the landscape of yourself become an unkept wilderness.
Lose yourself among the cedars, spruce, hemlock, where dappled light filters through layers of
bough and branch to touch the secret sores.
Learn the silent language of sword ferns—brail on the underside of fronds.
Eat salal berries, leaving enough for the bird’s breakfast.
Wade into the river as if the water will carry you home to your natal river.
Jessica Walters' work has been published in The Ormsby Review, [spaces] literary journal, Still, Agape Review, Scintilla and Solum, and her short story 'Glass Jars' was shortlisted for the Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing. Holding an MFA in Creative Writing, she teaches creative and academic writing in Langley, British Columbia.
Jessica's other work on Foreshadow:
The Sunday Blues (Poetry, February 2023)
Reintegration and Rediscovery: Jessica Walters and Pilgrimage (Forecast Ep 43)
Giotto's Kiss of Judas (Poetry, April 2023)