Land stretches, lush and flooding, and a man rows a boat across a field into the night. I hear you telling me of the forest, what you learned about yourself that summer. Just a year after the flood, you say, pointing to a wooden bench by a window, “Put your things here.” I turn the vinyl over. I spin a mason jar on its side. I will always be here with your coffee, you know. I need to remind you to keep your eye on the red breasted grosbeak or the moment will break. The headache of a siren splashes across the night. Looking down at a kid from six feet might as well be like looking up at the milky way. You can’t bring the solar system down or those stars shooting across each other over the lake while you sleep, but you can kneel down if you are a man and a small girl stands before you, expectant. Twilight water, fiddles, flutes. I don’t dream of losing teeth anymore. I don’t dream of the land flooding anymore. August’s tent billows from winds of every summer. Fog voices, the cove. We stand here, a frenzy of drum taps. I seal a letter with gold wax dripping into itself. I imagine you a rainforest, as distant as my great-grandmother’s room. Beside her in the afternoon, I didn’t want her to be ninety-four. Ceiling shadows persisted. The refrigerator droned in low shakes. Come back. I have kept time.
SARAH ANDERSON holds an MFA in poetry from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. She has 15 years of high school teaching experience. With her husband, she owns and operates The Word Barn in Exeter, NH, a gathering space for literary and musical events, where she runs a reading series (The Silo Series) as well as writing workshops. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including North American Review, Off the Coast, The Café Review, and December Magazine, and she was a finalist in contests run by The Pinch Journal, and Black Lawrence Press. She has poems forthcoming in Driftwood Press Literary Magazine.
Read more by Sarah Anderson:
Poem in The Café Review
Two poems in December
Poem in The Coil