Naiad, Stargrass, Egret, Heron
The spangled inlet a lullaby. Echo
when you say her name. Cloud of breath. Black
bird calling. The wonder at having come from her
as she receded; half-submerged.
Once, you let yourself float to the surface
and she was there. You are not
diminished. Rise. Name the birds
and the rivergrasses. Absence is not
loss. You paid attention.
After the babies died (who to me were not figments
but promises) the sky broke. Don’t ask me about God.
Just listen. The leaves are gone. Doesn’t mean
they won’t insist again. Look at me. This is tidewater.
Muck smell of epochs, of eons. Flotilla of geese.
You are so small and infinite. Have patience.
Trust the bald cypress, the live oak. Everything returns.
Lisa Hartz's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poet Lore, Catamaran, Dogwood, Subtropics, Common Ground and elsewhere. She is director of the non-profit Seven Cities Writers Project which brings writing workshops to underserved communities. She lives in the Tidewater region of Virginia with her husband and four sons.
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