My Mother as Walden Pond

Issue FourPoetry

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By Tess Barry

 

Out of her twig-filled lungs a strong wind whirls

 

she is a small stream     obstructed

a standing body

water-filled

 

in spring she floods parched uplands

in winter bristles over

 

she is walkable and swimmable

 

apple-tree wood roots inside her teeming throat

her calves and feet are pliable

as leisure

her fingers alburnum

 

white-paved stones encircle her

and mark the solitary home

of one lone Loon who laughs loud

at her watered-down jokes

 

she is time gestated in the song of whip-poor-will,

a seventeen-year Concord locust hatched of ribbed solitude

 

the serenade of fox, the swoop

of owl, a clear deep well of April green

the rising steam in January thaw

 

neither inlet or outlet

 

some think her bottomless

or speculate man-made

some say brought forth by rod

 

she contains herself in color

appears altered at a distance

 

sometimes her blue reflection rises

in the form of firm-fleshed fish

 

they swim her depths

which are transparent

 

“My Mother As Walden Pond” was a finalist for the 2014 Aesthetica Poetry Prize and previously published in Aesthetica: The Art and Culture Magazine’s 2014 Creative Writing Annual, UK.

 

Artwork by Jackie Benney. Published with permission of the artist.