By Rachel McCarren

Fulton County, GA, 2016

The red-hot clay beats
like blood beneath bare feet.
In the morning, I run
from the pale pink sun
through pine-needle pastures. 
Something draws me faster
down the path to the pine grove.
Along the road, the horses’ heads hovel close
in nostril smoke. I stop in the shadow of an old oak.
From its boughs swings a frayed hemp rope.
In my mind, a warning sign:
Bide the master’s stride
whose yew cane tramples down
the brown grass where you lie.
I hear the whip and heave of the master ride
as his midnight bridle chokes.
In this place named for honeybees
and serenity, I will not feign ideality 
nor will I idle while stood below
the swing of Southern ghosts.

Rachel McCarren‘s poetry has appeared in The Honest Ulsterman, Lupercalia Press’s debut anthology Vulcanalia, Anti-Heroin Chic Mag, The Unexposed Mag, and more. During her MFA at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA, Rachel studied summers at Trinity College Dublin in IE. Rachel is currently based in Pittsburgh, PA, but she plans to permanently relocate to Ireland with her Irish partner within the next year.

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