We could not have been
much, two junkyard kids
picking blackberries
down by the log pond
until our thumbs and tongues
stung black with love
and the footfalls of hunters
down by the water
made my shoulders narrow,
made me step against you.

This piece appears in our Fall 2013 issue (Vol. 60.1).

Natalie grew up on a muddy goat dairy in Norway, Oregon where she learned a lot about things like farm auction etiquette, and how to drive a tractor. Today, she lives in a tiny apartment in Southeast Portland with her true love and enjoys field guides, French food, and Futurama. She is learning how to write poems about happiness.