I was a bit of a mud lark
as a child, gathering days
in both hands, I stepped
into the imagined world,
wandered the rocky shore
in search of faerie gifts
I culled shells, raw turquoise,
Baroque pearls, crystals,
collected bobbles in the flounce
of my pinafore. I sang to myself
as I built elaborate sandcastles
for the faerie spirits, listened
for their voices in the conch shell
I carried with me. Sometimes
I still pick it up, straining to hear.
for Emily Dickinson at age 14
I make my own path
through meadows and woodlands
gathering cyclamen, sarsaparilla,
lily of the valley, wild ginger
to assemble in my leather folio,
my scrapbook of plants.
This small, dark volume
my collection of sunshine
and shade, days spent lingering
by the brook before the rainstorm.
Anderson O'Brien lives in Columbia, SC with her husband. She has published poetry in numerous publications including The Kentucky Review, Iodine, Blue Fifth Review, and Flutter.