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Mountain Rains 

I. distant

rains reveal what sun 
never can   
wispy transparencies  

of mist separate 
valley by valley 
rollings and folds of land  

terrain masqueraded 
as monolithic mountain 
now scrimmed 

and exposed 
into glorious galleries 
of wrinkled curving ridges

II. close

standing tall and dry seems strange 
now rain raises fragrance of soils
up to surround me    

low to the ground a she-gnome
I mingle own moist breath 
with earth’s

trees unload their weight of water 
to mycelium 
expanding in duff 

any moment a mushroom 
might bump up 
against my hand

    -from MPC Anthology 2011
     reprinted in Inverness Almanac Fall 2015

-- Jennifer Nichols
My Grandmother's Hair	
			
She wore something called a rat 
tucked inside her hair, a soft sausage 

of mesh wound with gray strands 
gleaned from her brushes and combs,

though I imagined the hair had twined itself 
there on its own, the way creepers wend 

through a trellis, and fine, sticky threads 
ply themselves around a stifled pupa. 

At night, I'd pull out the hidden loops
of her hairpins, and let down her long,

wavy hair, thin but still silky, tame
under the light strokes of my brush. 

Bodies, then, were such secretive things,
surfaces to be read into, inferred:

the irregular sag of a bodice; that self-
effacing spiral of her hair; the blind 

right eye with its marbled blue iris. 
The mad son. The husband I never 

heard her speak of. Her drowned 
brother, his woolen sweater knitted 

with a special stitch, so someone would 
know who the body belonged to,
 				
when finally the waves unfurled him, 	
on the shore of Inishturk.

      - from The Broome Review 

-- Jeanne Wagner