Juniperus Osteosperma

Elizabeth Sackett earned a degree in English with a writing concentration from SUNY Geneseo, where she received the Lucy Harmon Award for Fiction Writing and was published in Gandy Dancer. She has also been published in Gravity Of The Thing, Fickle Muses, Neon Literary Magazine and Subprimal Poetry Art, and enjoys writing about women, folklore, and disappointment. She spends her spare time drawing pictures of bird skeletons.

Juniperus Osteosperma

1. There is a grocery list of tradition living
in all of us, maybe, but particularly in
people who carry other people
on their backs as they burn and
especially in candles and they way they fill
the wings of ribs with everything
but air.

2. She steps in the door
wide eyes small
hands purse on the
counter to cancel
her membership because,
she explains, her money
is tight and her husband
is sick and she is also
struggling and I should
appreciate being young.
With her eyes so full of
life’s little gifts,
she doesn’t stop to
smell the candles like
most customers and I
can’t say I blame
I’d like to say
her voice crackles like
old wind but
it doesn’t it’s just
a voice.

3. In the highlands,
houses are cleansed

with smoke from the
juniper branch the

tendrils of gray
uncurling their dry veins

to purge every corner and
set of lungs, to free the small

angry things
hidden away
in small angry places.

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