Everywhere we walk, orange signs warn
Private Property or Posted. Still dented cans

rattle in ditches and campfire rings,
claiming “No, mine too.” And something

in the surveyor’s talk about tramping over ridges
and steeping himself in briers to sight the division

between neighbors, that thinnest of lines,
a spidery net he casts across the county—that,

he claims, is his. All the while, at the far reaches
of our property, the burr oak swells its bark

over pig wire and a sign more rusted than orange
reads: +++NO++++++ SING.

And that fawn curled in the wood,
throat laid down beside side-turned hooves,

never flinched when our dog sniffed her.
She held her ground, or it held her.

Her dappled fur marked as belonging
to sunlight and fallen leaf.

From Rooted by Thirst – A chapbook by Tina Mozelle Braziel.


About the Poet:
Tina Mozelle Braziel, a graduate of the University of Oregon MFA program in poetry, directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her poetry has or will appear in The Cincinnati Review, Southern Humanities Review, Tampa Review, and other journals. Her chapbook, Rooted by Thirst, was published by Porkbelly Press. She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building on Hydrangea Ridge.


Photo by Shon Ejai.


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