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Meghan Sterling

Meghan Sterling (she, her, hers) lives in Maine. Her work has been nominated for a number of Pushcarts, is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Rhino Poetry, Nelle, Poetry South, and many others. These Few Seeds (Terrapin Books, 2021) was a Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Finalist. Self-Portrait with Ghosts of the Diaspora (Harbor Editions), Comfort the Mourners (Everybody Press) and View from a Borrowed Field (Lily Poetry Review’s Paul Nemser Book Prize) are all forthcoming in 2023. Read her work at

Self-Portrait with Imagined Deathbed

I’m hovering inside a great white balloon
that the curtains make of the bedroom, and

I see again how small, the field dotted with
young fruit trees, the field muddy from the rising

stream. I dreamt of a cold spring broken open
with blossoms, a summer heavy with ripe peaches.

I saw a life stretched long—the smell of black dirt
and wet stones. I woke to a dog barking outside.

The borrowed field has become owned—a quarter
of an acre at most, but it is enough. Enough to lie down

and face the sky and know that I have landed. Enough
to work and die in. And the cemetery sits just beyond

our woods, waiting quiet. Isn’t this what I wanted—
to feel that I had found my place to die at last? Somewhere

I had made. Beneath the apple blossoms and a bright moon.
Turning my face to it, surrendering to the grass I had planted.


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