Snail Trail Press

From the Editors

This summer, I knelt next to a snail. I was coming home from an evening walk. The sun had already set, and the air smelled of saltwater. All the while, everyone around me slept, and there was the snail, gliding along the concrete.

I’m grateful more than ever to the small creatures from whom I’ve learned to slow down, from whom I continue to learn. And I’m resentful of the urgency to move past or remain indifferent to the beings around us. What does it mean to meet someone where they are? What does it look like to flourish together? I wondered this as I watched the snail, moving at their own pace against the currents of the day. To the snail, I said, “Goodnight,” “Thank you,” and went home.

I admit, this journal took a lot longer for the three of us to produce than planned. We slowed down over the year—we had to. There were weeks that went by that we didn’t communicate. We moved along in our own lives, tended to our children and animal companions, called our mothers and held our loves in deep sleep. We abandoned some deadlines and ambitions, and sought rest, nurture, joy, wherever we could find it, however possible. We let our rage grow with us, inside. All of this was necessary.

I don’t have any clear and definitive answers of what poetry can do or what it provides to us in moments of disaster, fear, grief. Sometimes, I know that I lose faith, too. But I also know that I love poems, and I love how they move me to respond to the world and her habitants—to stop in my tracks and find kinship in a person, a sprouting plant. To learn how to flourish in the roots, or how to give water.

And so, here we are, slowing and stopping to share with you the poems that we held deeply and close since reading them in December 2020. We hope they will re-center you, provide nourishment, as they did for us.

The following poems are written by editor Katelyn Oppegard—poems-in-response to our six contributor’s works. Please enjoy, and thank you for spending your time with Issue 3.


Woogee Bae
August 2021

when all the heat is earthed the sun
the other side of the world past dark fields

Katie Naughton

when all I love will go to ground warming the soil from beneath when cooling from top down wet and withered windless and still wheated network spored rotten into whysteria twining and hand holding Once underneath We dug

and you will lily you will
petal you will bloom you will
most surely wilt and
in your wilting all the color
will moment and vortex
and become the wind

Pamela K. Santos

Sun bleaching to bone white the metrics of ripening as measured by shriveling winter kit to keel we cradle saplings that snap to sticks & kindled together Felled burning turned best in show a long exalted breath is trending to blow out fisting vapors Have you seen such blight

And I never stood out in the rain or rinsed my feet in a puddle, even as a child—we were taught not to acknowledge what falls from the sky, ash or wash, not get drawn into shame and speculation.

Amaranth Borsuk & Terri Witek

The difference in rainfall from the pacific northwest to the middle west is over 110 inches per year. A deluge turned to drowning in some number of seconds. Thinking of such green and greater stone all awash and slicked. Which is allowed to moss over? Thinking of hibernation as getting by. If we were to transplant that rainfall from one end to the other we could see catastrophe coming from how many miles away? Thinking that depending on which opening of the pipe you look through there is either a double or deficit of 150 days of sun, so where is the window for windfall? Do we defenestrate the rain

the earth worms have already treated not according to the shapes, but to the taste. 

Jace Brittain

A maw all tongue and no teeth the more to swallow to spit the difference Gums to harbinger decay cross hatching fibers spark into movement flea inch king Mulch to collective surprise what was found beneath the leaves

I strained hard as I could
at its citrus eyes hoping to catch
a glimpse of the shape or color
of those knobs but saw only closed

Nanya Jhingran

To plumb the frame is to dredge the lake a trawler through the threshold dragging its own debris please come in & please take off your shoes detritus guests, we welcome you

for that as long as we live and after
is a flood, brimming to the lip
for it requires so much work

Joe Hall

I could believe to bail out a ship with a spoon is a mercy