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By Chelsea B. Desautels

In the shade of a maple tree, on a grassy hill,
three women laid hands on me.
One saw a cave in my hips. Another felt bricks
rising from a brook. The last heard a bellow
from deep within the woods. We were strangers
come together to spend an afternoon
drinking tea & sharing stories of cellular bad luck,
then suddenly makeshift healers
summoning our mothers’ lessons on touch—
on heat & symmetry, tenderness & release.
From above, we might have looked like sundials
or spokes on a round knitting loom.
We wanted so badly to believe
in our ministry we ignored the obvious.
That milk thistle grows here because of stolen land.
The auspicious arrival of geese is the result of
migratory patterns. Even the static inside our cells
likely explainable by simple division.
It’s embarrassing, sometimes, how far I’ll go
searching for unprecipitated magic,
much I’ll trust that pine air cures cancer
or the hawk overhead is only keeping watch.

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