CESCA JANECE WATERFIELD
We must bite down
and hold on. Never mind learning to draw. – C.D. Wright
My father planted crown vetch by our house
to hold down the hillside washing away in rain.
Its roots scooped down below the well, and sprawled
in a web like the human nervous system pictured
in my science book, or the Ursa Major constellation
on a poster in my bedroom. Above ground, pink flowers
jounced among leaves like ferns. But tendrils twirled
under the house, scrolled up and twined around beds
where we lay sleeping, around our soft necks.
Vines sucked mortar from between bricks,
and knocked them loose. When the house slammed
and rattled and spooked the pasture horse,
I shone a flashlight toward the stars on my wall.
Blood rushed in my ears, worlds held together by gravity.
Cesca Janece Waterfield completed her MFA in Creative Writing at McNeese State University. She received the 2017 Editor’s Prize in Fiction from MARY: A Journal of New Writing, judged by Natalie Baszile. Her work has appeared in Map Literary, Scalawag Magazine, LUMINA, Writers Resist, and more. Cesca’s manuscript “The Helicopter War: An Oral History of Fort Rucker Aviators Class of 1960” is maintained at the United States Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, Alabama.