Oral Tradition
by Jean McLeod

Earth sundered and shook
slipped rock under boulder,
sludge over land,
burned water to waste
blasted life from earth.

Bruised heavens screamed
against sky, against shore,
words, borne on a current of pain
disappeared along with the people.

The few who survived,
who couldn’t quite forget,
plucked stories strung
along moon, among stars
before continents shattered.
The few cradled
words in their mouths
fed them to children
nurtured at breasts,
carried them on the hunt
sang words wherever they traveled
treasured them as food

and that was enough.

Ms. McLeod delights in the surprises in life of which one is good poetry. She lives on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. In the last year, her work was published in Vox Poetica, Greensilk, Red River Review, Four x Twenty, Forces Poetry, and other literary journals.