Nancy Huxtable Mohr was raised on Twin Pines, a two-hundred-year-old family farm in Upstate New York. She has worked in the arts both professionally as a Development Director for Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, California and taught poetry in schools with California Poets in the Schools and at a women’s jail with the Alternatives’ Program as part of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Her work is published in quarterly journals and magazines and she has recently published her first book of poetry, The Well: Poems from Twin Pines Farm, published by Butternut Press. The poems are drawn from her own experience growing up on the farm in the 1950s and from the contents of a pine trunk filled with family papers, letters, and diaries of her ancestors who established the farm and made it flourish for more than two centuries. You can read selected poems her poems from The Well and other publications on her website.
Nancy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
People are moving quietly before dawn,
pulling on their gear. Still sleepy.
A pulse comes from tethered boats under
September’s slate fog at the high tide-
pummeled shore. Guides wait with their burly
smell of bacon and coffee, kick cracks in the dock
caulked with seed pods and fish scales.
At seven, the grid of boats leaves the dock
and piney shadows while a wet hazy moon-skin
still sticks to the sky. Everyone drops lines.
Silvery chinooks wait for the ebb tide to grab
the florescent hootchies while eagles swoop
from bristled pines to feed from the salty inlets.
People shout when anyone brings in a fish.
One couple drifts in their boat apart from others,
almost in a spell, hunched over their lines.
Their boat hugs the folds of the shore. Silent.
Fishless. Finally back to the dock. Content?
The guide is quiet too. Not wanting to divulge
a secret? Ashamed of no fish? Or like them,
certain of the evidence of things unseen.
© Nancy Huxtable Mohr
Dandelion Review February 2018
Evening perhaps. Midwife with
towels ready on the four poster.
The husband waits in the barn
or kitchen for the squeal.
Then the baby swathed in flannelled
light. Mothers recover from their
last push through open thighs,
then the flow of pomegranate placenta.
Births near windows–frost squiggled
or open to clouds in summer’s sky.
So many mothers with children
at their breasts in this room,
red quilt from the cedar bride box
around their shoulders.
© Nancy Huxtable Mohr