May/June 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 3 Nature's NatureMay 1, 2016 |

Return to Sender

To the topsoil and subsoil: returned. To humus and blistered rock: returned. To the kingdom of the masked chafer beetle, the nematode and the root maggot: returned. To the darkness where a solitary star-nosed mole arranges her possessions and pulses through a slow hallway, and to the vastness where twenty-thousand garden ants compose a tangled metropolis: returned. It was summer, and they lowered a body into the ground. I did not say they lowered you into the ground. It seemed like you were elsewhere, but the preacher insisted: And now, he returns to the One who made him. Most likely, he meant: God. But I thought he meant the Earth, that immensity where everything changes, buzzes, is alive again and—Amen.

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Matthew Olzmann is the author of two poetry collections: Mezzanines and Contradictions in the Design (both from Alice James Books). He teaches at Dartmouth College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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To the topsoil and subsoil: returned. To humus and blistered rock: returned. To the kingdom of the masked chafer beetle, the nematode and the root maggot: returned. To the darkness […]

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