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Water Woman

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She floats under the thin line
of blue, rippled and worn,
purpled by skin and time.
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Afraid to touch, the boys poke her
with a stick,  a reed, the soft end of a
cattail. She bobs, but doesn’t sink.
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There is a word for that way of being
suspended, held aloft, wading between,
but they don’t know it, have never
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known it. Her hair fans like weeds.
Her mouth makes an oh, a shape that
shivers them, puts goosebumps on their flesh.
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Touch her, touch here, the skin scaled green.
They pry apart her swollen
eyes and thighs, carve gills in the cave
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of her neck with their nails until there
is nothing but breath. The air smells
of river rocks and high salt.
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She is the best haul
they’ve ever had.

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About This Poem: I was looking at a picture this morning (this one) and jumped off into this poem. It’s kind of a throwback to my “old style” which is highly narrative (probably too much so), but it worked for a quickie since I have a crazy day. Two more days to go!

About Poem-A-Day: For the month of April (National Poetry Month), I’ve signed on to write a poem-a-day (eeks!). To make it slightly easier on myself, my rules are that I have to write each poem in fifteen minutes or less, and that I have to post it here on the blog as soon as I’m done. No edits. Just rough. Raw. Right out of the gate. (Of course, if you’re playing along, I hope you’ll post a link to your poem in the comments here — mainly because I’m selfish and I want to read them!)

See all my Poem-A-Day poems here.

You can also read some amazing poems-a-day over at Sage Cohen’s blog.

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