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Almanac [poetry]

By Rachel Morgan

  • plant beans when signs are in the arms           or the loins
  • plant beans      in the head      they bloom to death    if you’re
  • going to make sauerkraut        work in the arms
  • or the breast    because if’n you make it          in the head
  • the brine goes down to the bowels and smells like a hog pin
  • prefer the old moon      over the new moon    to plant potatoes so they don’t
  • grow    deep and hard to dig    if they get eyes pare them out
  • so they don’t watch you          use three level tablespoons
  • of salt to a good gallon of chopped cabbage              work the salt in
  • if you do it right           it stays white               wisdom teeth need
  • to be pulled below                   the heart so swellin’s tolerable
  • don’t buy         an unborn baby a gift               plant corn        in the breast
  • that’a way it won’t grow so tall the wind’ll knock it over
  • when you set out tomatoes and peppers     put a stick next to the stalk
  • to keep            the cutworms               off the plant     when you mash
  • a cutworm after it’s eaten a plant it’ll be green                        put your
  • house shoes under the bed      to keep bad ghosts away


  • Rachel Morgan is the Assistant Poetry Editor for the North American
  • Review and teaches creative writing at the University of
  • Northern Iowa. She’s a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
  • She co-edited Fire Under the Moon: An Anthology of Contemporary
  • Slovene Poetry (Black Dirt Press), and a letterpress chapbook of her
  • poetry, Things We Lost in the Fire (Flag Pond Press), has been
  • published. Recently her work appears or is forthcoming in
  • Crazyhorse, Fence, Denver Quarterly, South85 Journal, Volt, Hunger
  • Mountain, and DIAGRAM.

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