To Gather the Under



To wake up beside you as a set of Matryoshka dolls, unnested.

Unwilling to break away, to wake up the rain. That which gives flight. Never in houses. That which is carried. That which is eaten. That which is spirit. That which is slept.

A lost carrier pigeon. The tip of our boot, breaking. Everyone believes the conductor. Everyone believes the next train.

To shout that you had found me. That the night will not come. There will not be any more crows.

To not have a spile when there is rain in the trees. To only pull runes I can’t read.

(Wunjo (joy from bringing together, wonderment, kinship

I’m sorry. I will be late. I will bring berries and the lamppost. I will ask them for their rain. I will leave early.


To have left all the candles in the barn burning. To have left more paths lit than can be blown out. Then can be followed. The rusted iron plow, cabinets, all the harps, doll eyes.

Covering the face of our poverty. A quarter life. There are plenty of trowels. We are all born with hands for a reason.

The ability to be crippled around the wound. And walk. The violet starved. Domesticated and loyal. Hexed.

Crazed hunger. To become mouth. Loss of the life made by hand. Made with a snail shell, a bleeding stem. Wonder. The center of finding the way.

To always fall outside of.

(Berkana (nurturing, protection, concealment, rebirth, growth, mother

Glass into the stomach. Why is it so hard for you to find your shoes.




The cats are breeding. Taking over the steps. Breeding split eyes. Wailing. Pus. Only one box of shotshell. Closing the door on them is one way to be surrounded. A wedding Mother has blessed. You can make your decision any time now.

Orchids do not make what is rotten dance. Orchids are brides trapped in a headdress. Gorgeous stitching.

(Raidho (circular flow, progression, a wheel, revisiting but moving on

When there is one thread. And many, many empty bones. Make yourself useful.

To lock the pipes. To save the place with nails. To save the empty baby book. Except blond hair when you have brown. To empty the hope chest. To empty of standing. To have one more heart line. It is not to be used for mothering. It is not to be used to give yourself away.




To burn the harbor for light.

It does not matter how wrong the egg is. When there is a wall. When there are pews. A drowning. The head was wrapped. Secure.

Declawed and sealed with vinegar. Set free.

To braid to the right around the neck to hide. The termites. Becoming what I mean to you.

(Jera (cycles, continuation, the fertility of midnight

You can tell the path by what is darker than.




Three thick braids. The center of the wind. Like practice. Like a wedding ring for the dead.

(Gebo (connection, interaction, balance, harmony, union

When I am harmed. When I am fringed. Sifting ash. Squinting. With the intent to remain homed.

If I watch the last train. If I sleep under amaranth. If I don’t blanket. If sage. If walk. If I was not meant to see.
If not you.

Poisoning by rutile. That stump was a home. There must be an exchange. A bypass. Twenty minutes is no excuse.

Watercress and vermouth.

To notice. A sinkhole between the tracks.

You can still hurt me as easily as breathing. As easy as holding. As easy as under.




Yes, but if I closed my eyes. Also, divorced and moving.

An end to a kind of living. If I can skin the road bare. Then follow it.

Taking care of relationships instead of disaster.

The end of a world. Or, my recurrently driving over telephone poles from the backseat. The end of reliving very ill people I used to be.

(Othala (of the womb, ancestry, inheritance, the sacred, immovable land

To stand in the wind and be supported. Whatever works. Whatever falls.

Wisdom is whatever works for seeing. Whatever keeps the snakes on the skirt alive.

The fences over land carried in the blood, carried from under.




About Amy Jo Trier-Walker

Amy Jo Trier-Walker is a poet in the middle of nowhere in Indiana. Her nails are always dirty, her pack of dogs is always happy, romping through the trees, and her kitty is always grumpily purring while he knocks over her books. She is the author of Trembling Ourselves into Trees (Horse Less Press 2015). View all posts by Amy Jo Trier-Walker

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