Today's poem is by Fleda Brown

Water Rising

When the polar ice caps melt,
when the water rises at Lewes, this house
with its long porch and white railings,

where we sit in the dark singing "American Pie"
and "Barbara Ann," the verses we remember,
water will slide here under the doors,

will round itself into the cups and bowls,
burrow its veins along the wiring. The pier
where we used to stand, where we walked

the children and admired perch and sand sharks
caught by quiet old men, water
will hush the lost pilings like the prow

of a sunken ship. On Savannah Road,
the Wicker Picker will turn dazed and drunken
with floating baskets. Those who come after us

will cup their hands and bathe their eyes,
and stare together into the throat of the sea:
"There is where things used to be. No,

maybe there," they'll say. They'll tell a story
of hammers, chain link fences, trellises, and desire
before the balance shifted. It will be our

story, the porch, the singing, but broken open,
diffuse as salt. They'll taste the sea in it,
want only a taste, probably, before

they turn back to whatever shore they keep.

Copyright © 2003 Fleda Brown All rights reserved
from The Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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