Today's poem is by Beth Bretl

A Convincing Story


They will say my husband was
a sailor. I have never married.

But the foghorn chases a fine
mist over the stairs. I wake

underwater and every day
the sails need mending.

When winds gust through
cottonwoods, I am restless.


They will say my son is lost
at sea. But my belly is taut
with the work of stacking

stones at the water's edge.
I dream I am pregnant with
something angular and alloy.

When I walk the orchard
crushing overripe cherries
beneath my feet, I worry

over consequence. My hand
presses that sharpness.


They will say I am a witch.
But the moon silvers grass

everywhere. Scraps find
themselves in my fingers.

I leave fish bones beneath
my roses, give stones

jewels for eyes. This is
the curse of busy hands.

Sand muffles the rain, and
distance, the lark's tongue.

Copyright © 2008 Beth Bretl All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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