Conveyance by Julia Kudravetz



Between the bones of the plat
and the sale of our land, so much needs

to be done to make the title clean.
The deed marked what everyone knew

then—the creek to the quarters
to the graveyard; they agreed with a handshake

and the natural boundaries quilled in red.
No one recalls, so imagine those lives

in metes and bounds. On the bank they pulled
fresh water, broke ice in winter,

carried evening hymns over the field
to the arms of the great oak.

And now we see encroachments,
bramble, the soft roads made by cattle—

one small headstone, lichened and nameless from weather,
catches us. The deal could still fall through.

What should we want: a surveyor with his triangulating eye?
Something legal, something witnessed and irrevocable.

Otherwise anyone can remember anything,
otherwise what’s now sure could shift,
be overturned, given a new name.

Julia Kudravetz
Julia Kudravetz is a writer and an educator in Charlottesville, Virginia. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, she teaches English at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

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