Poem with Birth Ledger and Crawfish

I was born in a small house
in the country. The walls

just held my heart, which sunk
its roots down deep through

the garden, cornfields, creek—
the crawfish in their rocky dark,

the chickens dust bathing in the
yard. The animals were close:

raccoons, possums, fox, deer,
knocking at the back door 

where my mother left food for the cats.
When we moved: my roots tore.

Everything begins in childhood.
The song starts there, the poem.

It was a spring morning when I was born.
It was May. My mother’s hair was long.

The animals and earth were waking up,
preparing for a summer riot.