Jeremy Dae Paden

The Hills We Grew On

When the hills we grew on
disappeared, our parents said:

Set down roots near still waters.
Be grounded. Hold on tight.

My brother, desperate, consumed
the fauna that made him home
until nothing came to roost.

My sister sent her tap root deep,
busted through limestone & quartz
to reach springs hidden below bedrock.

I dreamed the sky is ground & ground sky.
I sent my roots into the atmosphere.

Jeremy Dae Paden

Jeremy Dae Paden is an Affrilachian poet and a professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at Transylvania University. On his mother's side he is of Puerto Rican descent and he was raised in Central America and the Caribbean. His poems have appeared in The Adirondack Review, Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, California Quarterly, Cortland Review, Pluck! and Rattle, among other journals and anthologies.