“deeper than dirt” by Rachel McKibbens, the best piece of writing you will read today, or maybe even this week or month

deeper than dirt
Rachel McKibbens

after the poet asked how I would bury my brother

Beyond the carrots and blind white worms, beyond
the yellowing bone orchards and corkscrew roots,
beyond the center of this churchless earth, beloved Peter,
my little sorcerer, brought up dirty & wrong, you deserve more
than to be smothered in mud. For all the gravel you were fed,
for every bruise and knot that named you, I must plant you
in a bed of blood-hot muscle, must deliver you into me,
so I may
carry you as the only mother you have ever known.

About This Poem

“Poets of witness navigate the world in such a peculiar way, seeking justice through writing; punishing and praising with language. This poem is entirely for my quiet brother who is blessed with the gift of withholding.”

–Rachel McKibbens

Poem-A-Day
Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-A-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends. Browse the Poem-A-Day Archive.


Into the Dark & Emptying Field

Into the Dark & Emptying Field

Copyright © 2013 by Rachel McKibbens. Used with permission of the author.

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Next up at #poetrylive, Rachel McKibbens!

Today I get to start reading Rachel McKibben’s new book Into the Dark & Emptying Field. I first heard her read at Split This Rock in 2012 and was so moved and unsettled and astonished that I dreamt her poems for weeks.

Follow my twitter feed to read along with me!