Johanna in the Roots of Time

“Johanna by Tree” by Alan W. Bean
Polaroid Transfer

Her arms scrape and stretch out
on the tree trunk, her fingers are rays
of light that point to its branches. Her face
pressed into the carvings of the bark
and her legs reach to the roots, unearthed
by sun, wind, and water.

Boulders hold her, the roots,
and the ground around the river’edge.
Underneath, the dark lace of river
by which limbs of drift wood lie.

Time’s everywhere, but we can’t
touch it. It touches us. It twists
everything among its fingertips.
It grips and grinds us
into grains and drops
the husks of us on the soil
we seep into and stay.

Pavlina Gatikova lives in southeastern Massachusetts with her husband. She is originally from the Czech Republic where she completed her Masters Degree in English and French as Foreign Languages. She has taught English to adult immigrants. Since 2007, she has been working as an ESL teacher in the public schools. She had a poem published in the Ekphrastic Review and another poem is forthcoming in the Rat’s Ass Review’s summer issue.