Saturday, September 10, 2005

Twenty Years Later, My Sister is Still Drowning

An amazingly prescient poem, by our own Kelli Russell Agodon, in the current issue of Bellevue Literary Review:

Twenty Years Later, My Sister is Still Drowning

She tells me about the ovenbird, its orange crown traveling swamps after sunset. She says it keeps an infant under its wing, tells me birds can sense children underwater. The dishes soaked overnight and though she knows it's just her reflection between suds, she mentions Jude, how saints appear in the waves of every body of water. We never talk about her second summer when she disappeared into the lake, the kingfisher hovering above her, the water that entered and exited in a burst as our father tossed her to shore shouting, Breathe, breathe! When she opens the refrigerator she laughs as she sees cantaloupe. Someone has carved God into the orange center, she says as if this world has not flooded around us, as if everything she said made sense.


The Sublibrarian said...


Pamela said...

This is a awesome poem, in both the terrifying and the sublime sense of the word.

Nicholas said...

Impressive. That's good!

Collin said...

Love it!