Bramble Hill

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Bramble Hill
by Madeline Levine

I come to this farm a lot, been tracing it for years.
Want to get married here but
I won’t tell you that.
Know this path so well I can walk it with eyes shut tight.
Sometimes I do, until I get to
this part my favorite part where hill meets field meets
distant creek and the runny egg yolk sun cooks over and drips way
down into my boot, dries my mud-soaked sock.

And sometimes I see people but don’t
worry they’ll only wave.
And one time I tried to walk my circle
backwards from finish to start but
I got lost and turned
around and then I breathed a little
better.

Some days I come through the woods.
Days when I’m feeling
shady and I’ll sneak a cigarette in the brush,
pacing—noise—and I go
stiff, I know it’s bad.

Those days I bypass the cows and sheep and all that Open and
the barn where we had prom:
30 kids and 40 yards of crepe and my nose pressed up against the
window.

I like when there’s snow and I’m bundled in my vest-shield
and in the whiteness it’s all new but still I feel
strong
because I know the way.

At dusk I’ll go
faster because I’m wary after all.
But in my head a song will sing a
song sad and certain but not purposefully
sad but sad like put-on-a-good-face before you
Let
It
All
Go.

And I’ll ask myself more questions but I
won’t answer since my
eyes are up ahead and
I think that was a deer and she
jumped behind a tree but first I
think she winked at me and I
know that she was

beautiful.

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1 Comment

  1. An engaging discursive ingenuous trace of a well-known path, as told by a juvenile narrator who wants “to get married here but I won’t tell you that” and “sneaks(s) a cigarette in the brush” when she’s “feeling shady.” The pure joy of all feelings, even guilty ones, is passed on to us through her young eyes and heart, even to the point where she has to “put-on-a-good-face before you let it all go.” It’s how nature is best experienced: internalized and identified with; which I think is the message of her sighting of the deer at the end, whom she knows “was beautiful.” Meaning that’s how she sees herself on these sojourns.

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