Transplant at Home
Even a weed, ripped from the ground, holds on to its native clod of earth, even a replanted bush needs to cling to its original soil. In my movement across this land, I have carried the rolling grasses of civil war battlefields, the swinging kudzu, the cattails swaying in the slow muddy Mississippi, and the cool blue-green leaves at the top of the old blackgum. Those shimmering grasses, the cattails, and kudzu, the dancing leaves of the black gum and yellow poplar trees on the ridge, all dig into my root ball, my madre tierra.
I am of the South, born and raised, as they say. Afterward, I roamed, transplanted to ice plant, manzanita, and the high desert bristlecone pine. Clinging to the Jeffrey Pine, my nose pressed deep into the cracks of fragrant vanilla bark, I absorbed the loamy sand of the high desert, grains of volcanic rubble finely ground over millenniums.
Returning, I brought these home, then decorated my red clay garden with obsidian and fossils from the ancient seas, mixed ocean shells and sea glass with the rotting leaf mulch. There I planted tomatoes and squash, filling my nails with my home earth again.