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.