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March 11, 2012 / Rae Spencer

Watershed

Watershed

Really just a stream
What we called simply
“Creek” (in accent: “crick”)
Shallow rills for summer wading
Cold flanks of limestone spring

We ragged group of nymphs
Sisters of my youth
Bolted gaily, daily
Down the hills, pooled
Ourselves beside the bank

We harried crawdads from their dens
Gave silver minnows fairy names
We saw ourselves in damselflies
Molting toward our adult wings
While sustained by infant gills

What snakes we found in Eden
We kept all summer in our rooms
Their flicking tongues, feather light
Spoke nothing of temptation
We loosed them in the fall

As time loosed us one season
To gain the winnowed air
We gleamed in bright emergence
Damp jewels ferried on a breeze
Into brilliant scattered flight

Published in The Journal of Liberal Arts and Education Winter 2010

6 Comments

  1. Jeanette Gallagher / Mar 11 2012 11:40 PM

    BEAUTIFUL! POEM AS PICTURE/PICTURE AS POEM!

  2. bardessdmdenton / Mar 16 2012 4:41 PM

    Love the language that sets the scene so naturally and yet magically too.

    Especially love:
    ‘We saw ourselves in damselflies
    Molting toward our adult wings
    While sustained by infant gills’

    Lovely and engaging to read, Rae!

    • Rae Spencer / Mar 16 2012 6:33 PM

      Thank you! This poem is very close to my heart, and I’m delighted that you enjoyed it!

  3. bardessdmdenton / Mar 16 2012 4:42 PM

    Illustration excellently done too!

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