A hunt for water, where it once flowed, first –
its curve and pooling.
And then, the hummock and knoll and divot to replicate –
to house the channel from sea to pond.
Not as easy as you would think to go from that to this.
To remake yourself. Renew yourself.
You, downing the cran-apple juice as a girl, that bitter tonic.
Knowing nothing of the bog with all its sand and tendrils.
On ice, or not, leaving the tongue a little furry,
the mouth’s innards tacky and smart.
But, no longer. Now, the tall glass of clear water
and the imagining you are there,
stepping among the Atlantic white cedar.
Stopping to finger its thick feathered leaf and note
the pitch pine drying, rusty and flaking
in your hand. While you stand in the kitchen
or on the porch, looking out.
The red of the cranberry so deep.
But now, revision
and the rush and cattail – what he, once,
waded out for, up to the knees. So you could feel
it tickle your neck. Your mother calling
from the car: Mind your step!
That particular marsh stretching out and away
to lake and river and, eventually, gulf.
The stream begins with clarity,
stones piled on either side,
and then frays at its edges, grasses bending,
and disappears from sight there
and then returns here.
Kelly R. Samuels lives and works as an adjunct English instructor in the upper Midwest. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net, and appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including apt, Burningword, The Summerset Review, Kestrel, and The Carolina Quarterly.
© 2018, Kelly R. Samuels