Danielle Genevieve Coté
Once, I lost my mother in Star Market. No one
had taught me about the casting of breadcrumbs.
Once, I held my father’s hand, walked barefoot in an orchard.
After stepping on that stinger, I would distrust these pollinators
of the wild, would watch for rotting apples laid bare at dusk.
That same summer, my brother climbed an aging oak,
sliced his knee on a rusty nail. He has the scar
of stitched skin. His wound sings louder than mine.
They say that men will go miles knowing they are lost. Later,
he traveled west and there remains. He still falls out of trees.
How to map the lessons of this life,
to measure the latitude of missteps?
Though I slip my feet into shoes and hoard the crusts of bread,
I now know north by my quickening heart, by the saltiness of my skin.
Danielle Genevieve Coté lives in Rochester, NY with her husband, Charlie, and their three demanding cats: Houdini, Cosmo and Fergal. An educator for the past twenty years, she currently teaches middle school English and social studies in Penfield, NY. She is active in the Rochester poetry scene, regularly participating in a writer’s salon and reading at open mics and the occasional literary pub crawl. She is a newly emerging writer and "Cartography" is her first published poem.