First Day of Spring by Jeanna Paden

Tennessee rains sunbeams for the first time all year
a worm crawls under my skin
inching along, stretching
beside me a level
I use to keep my head on straight
even when the sun is out
my body makes clouds
sewage is gurgling up in the backyard
we pretend we don’t smell it because the money isn’t
I am a playground for worms, wonder too much about death
wonder about every person I know who was always bound to die
I spoil everything, never thought I’d live
through the midnights of February
but today, Tennessee is lighting up
green and yellow, wind in the treetops
worms working the dead earth


Jeanna Paden (she/her) is a freelance health and wellness writer and poet. Her poetry has been published by Foothill: A Journal of Poetry, Pulp Poets Press, and The Bookends Review. Her creative work has received nominations for The Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets anthologies. Connect with her on Twitter at @halfwaytoitblog.

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