Flood Poem By Claudia Emerson

Flood Poem By Claudia Emerson

This had happened before: rain that began
as mist—thick and windless, slow to fall.
In the bottomland, bloated spiders
caught fog and bound it; the webs sagged,
white and wet.
The second day, the creek
argued with the rain, grew bolder before
losing itself, overcoming the banks
that had defined it. Its current cut,
the water grew still, intent on rising.
This changed everything.
The third day, skeletal
corn-balk was lost. The trees waded in, waist-deep.
Boundaries drowned—the wire dead. I had
moved the cows to higher ground, and, puzzled,
they looked down on that placid other
that was not lake or pond.
The rain abated
midday, and I knew the next morning
I would see the field reappear as if rising.
I would see the fenceline discovered,
and, more, some ancestral bone, white now
as a root, would appear in the storm-gore
that would gag the creek, sagging in its bed.
I would find crows, those disbelievers, drowned
in their sleep, feathers strewn in the cattails,
their mouths filled with mud.
But long before
dawn, I would be there as before, at the edge
of what could not be sailed or sounded, watching
moonlight move over the body of that
black depthlessness—and I would be lost
as if I were in some distant place.

Flood Poem By Claudia Emerson

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