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Samantha DeFlitch



What happened? For starters, a uterus clung to a

bowel. A surgeon peeled it off like an accordion.

Then, hope: throwing ideas at a body to see what 

stuck. This is not beautiful. Or maybe it is!

Look, all the unexpected things life can make: 

organs fused together and dogs without tails and

potatoes that grow from potatoes and incarnation.

I believe it. I believe it all! I have no other choice.

I harvest expectation from ritual and roadside scrub.

I call the God of my grandmother down the mountain.

Her God becomes a woman in Giant Eagle, aisle four, 

straining tall for beans and catching wind of something.


Endometriosis: the winds are my waking days. 

My waking days are the delight of God. All

things fuse together, given time and necessity. 

Babushka, look! Evening pulls its lid off and

the quick stars of the east keep their watch

over late season potatoes and hopeful me. 

Body, get up! Turn your waiting head and

trust what you have heard: everything is true. 

In the North Country

There's me! Loud 

trudging beneath 

trees with their blue 

language, their wind-

swept crinkling. My 

spit freezes before it 

hits snowpack. I am 

proud to live here but 

that is wrong. All I have 

to offer this hard land: 

a foil-capped birdfeeder 

chockful of balls, soft 

small suet. The mountain

rises and it is brilliant and

it is terrifying and it is not

anything at all: an uncaring

rockpile. Bold of me to give

it meaning. I'm a loud knock 

at the wrong door; the world

will go on without my help.

At dusk, chickadees find log-

pile-protection, self-induce 

hypothermia, and live. Yes,

this land is a blue ritual. 

Then some far-off dog 

cracks open the quick night 

that carries her yelp away.

The Opening

Be soft with me 

if you can.

I am only trying

to find God.

I cannot easily 

look up. 

I will need both

your hands

beneath my belly.

Tilt my body

toward itself.

In my

pelvis I have


a chickadee. In 

her mouth 

there is a blue


Samantha DeFlitch received her MFA from the University of New Hampshire, where she is the Associate Director of the Connors Writing Center. She is the author of Confluence (Broadstone Books, 2021). Her work has appeared in The Missouri Review, Appalachian Review, On the Seawall, and Rust+Moth, among others, and she is the 2018 recipient of the Dick Shea Memorial Award for Poetry. She lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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