Cesca Janece Waterfield — “The Thicket”

Daddy steadies my bicycle
as its training wheels wobble
in a rut of dirt road
that stitches our house
to the field and shore.

In the forest that follows our progress,
quail nest in low scrub
to shelter their clutch.
Tall clusters of pines sway,
and the stream shatters in sun
as saplings are swept with light.

But I wake to see scab fungus crawling
the pecan tree where my bicycle has fallen.
Woodland voles burrow under the yard
to gnaw roots of yellowing elder,
of dying English holly. In a mist
that clings itself, the woods twitch.

Cesca Janece Waterfield’s poetry, nonfiction, and short fiction have been published in or are forthcoming from Deep South Magazine, Scalawag Magazine, Writers Resist, Foliate Oak, and more. They were nominated for Best New Poets of 2017. They teach composition to undergraduates as a PhD student at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. They completed their MFA and MA at McNeese State University.