The Woman Who Lives Near the Park

Mary Nork

raises llamas for backpacking and grazing rights.

Chickens too—free range laying hens.

Bereft of rooster

they brush against her ankles like kittens

and drop their eggs when she strokes them.

I would be this woman, beloved

of chickens.


She’s tan, with long hair

twisted in a braid around one ear.

No beauty parlors, no facials, no pedicures,

not even in the summer when she trades

her boots for bare feet.

No diets. No gym.

I’d loosen my own lids with ease.


She grows artichokes for the looks alone,

and jars tomatoes, pears, plums, apricots.

In my dreams I taste peaches,

and smell cut basil.


Red wriggler worms, sleek, graceful,

weave in and out of her compost,

copulate among coffee grounds

and apple cores.

I would be on intimate terms

with such creatures.

With the earth, too.  I’d dance naked

in the rain

if I dared be that woman for just one day.