The Water is Gone

The water is gone.
I tried to pool some into a cup, but
it is not there to be cupped.

I walk the forest
with last year’s stream in my mind
but the creek bed is dry.

Now I am upstream
and each turn is a lesson as to how
all sounds are echoes

coming through the hills
from somewhere further afield.
I think of walking on

although today
the further into woods I might walk
the further it seems to be.


The Daughter

I made mine just the same as you made yours
and mine turned out the same as yours did

I began making mine before I knew better
when what I wanted was what you wanted

In the end I threw away so many of the
obsolete arts and crafts you taught me

I start again when I am many years older
many years behind me and perhaps lost

This time I make mine in the shape of myself
calling it some new kind of womanhood

someone balancing on new feet, I stand
and start again, it is late but not too late


Praying Twice

Whenever someone says “Ben”
I think first of my older brother.
My mother might be bittersweetly
happy that he is alive in that way.

I know if I tell her this she will
respond with the story of
when they brought him home
from the hospital to die and
that he lasted for seven days.

She often tells stories more than once.
Sometimes I will interrupt to say
I have heard this one before
and sometimes I listen to words
whose endings I already know.

I listen about Ben,
thinking that it might be
helpful, that it might be like
praying the same prayer twice.