“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ Earth Day

Earth Day

by Nancy Young

I love the heft of a pick,
iron weight I slam to earth,
feel the thud, see the rift 
in clay still cold but ready

to turn, amend, furrow, and fill
with blue salvia, yellow marigolds,
colors for the Bucha starushka 
in a green coat, pictured in the Times. 

Hand clapped over her mouth,
she stands in her garden staring 
at corpses, dead men she knew
and now must plant. What might grow 

from Kyiv’s pits and trenches, 
worm through rubbles of hollowed houses, 
spread like bittersweet, perhaps choke out 
hope that yet holds on, a thin and brittle vine?

Nancy Young

About Nancy Young

Nancy Martin-Young has played with words in every iteration of her life: as an academic, a reporter, an editor, and a writer. Besides articles, poems, and short stories, she has also penned three romantic suspense/paranormal novels set in Raleigh near where she lives: Seeing Things, Hearing Things, and Sensing Things, plus a Regency novel, Wit and Prattles. Her poetry chapbook is The Last Girl Standing, and her short story collection is Southern Edge. Nancy is still with the guy who took her to the prom, and their offspring continue to be contributing members of society.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.