by Ruminate Magazine March 13, 2019

Emily Stoddard's poem "Descendants" appears in Issue No. 50: What Sustains.



for the language
an ancestor spoke
into the sky
of their god,

we sift remnants
of tongues,
break the

we count
in generations
and this is
false math—

the ladder
of my spine
is lined by shores
that were not ours
to fish,

by altars
where we bowed
and altars
we burned,

by prayers


we are not done yet,
inventing names
for what will save us—

even now,

some speak of doves
and some speak of towers


Emily Stoddard belongs to seven acres of ironweed, bur oaks, sugar maples, herons, and hummingbirds in Michigan. As a leader of the Amherst Writers and
Artists Method, she founded Voice and Vessel, a studio that supports fellow writers and creative spirits. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Radar, Dark Mountain, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Pilgrimage, Cold Mountain
Review, The Manifest-Station, and elsewhere. More at

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash.

Ruminate Magazine
Ruminate Magazine


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