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.
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.