Today's poem is by Emily Elizabeth Schulten

Labor Day Weekend

I sat in the stern, so you
couldn't see my face.
Mosquitoes blanketed the water
and smelled our skin.
I watched your arms bulge
when every pull pushed us deeper.
Welts rose quick where I was bitten.
I hung a leg on either side of you
and scratched the county names
across your back.
The paddle was a shovel,
but each dig brought more
of the Green River,
dredging limestone silt
and twig impossible to bury.
The canoe rested,
pulled between the shoals
at the jaws of a cave,
where you caught flathead
and put bites in my mouth.
You palmed my head, drew closer.
I tasted your bourbon fat tongue.
We laid this way until we slept,
hair slop-soaked with algae,
and the morning burned my bare skin.
I woke up on the bank
with filth layering my body.

Copyright © 2009 Emily Elizabeth Schulten All rights reserved
from Rest in Black Haw
New Plains Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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