Editors’ Choice: Louisa Howerow

Harvesting of Lost Hearts

After the first frost, the old woman stoops
over rotting logs, pushes apart clumps
of fan-shaped moss, uncovers clenched hearts
that beat so erratically she knows
they’ve forgotten how fierce they once were.
She untangles their roots, tugs gently
to draw them free.  No brushing away
dirt or grubs. No scolding or
reminding them their eagerness was all wrong,
this losing themselves to sweet mouths,
unhurried hands. When dusk slips into itself
and moths flurry from balsam firs,
she nestles her harvest in a faded brown sling
retraces her way past sword ferns, burial stones
and enters unlatched doors.

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