Poetry by Amy Le Ann Richardson

We Should Have Listened

I am clinging to the creekbank, Jeremy to my right and the rushing creek below us. Pine trees my daddy planted to save the creekbank loom above us. All the sandbars and rocks we usually played on succumbed to high water after days of rain. The air, still thick, insulated by clouds and smelling of earthworms, we dig our rubber boots into the mud daring each other to test the current. We aren’t supposed to be down here. “Too dangerous,” our parents said, which only tempted us more, and we sneaked away after lunch, meeting up by the back gate, disappearing from our houses’ views down the hill. Finally, Jeremy grows brave and sticks one foot into the water, his boot is sucked right off, carried downstream in an instant. We both scream, and I grab his arm to keep him from jumping after it. 

Amy Le Ann Richardson was born and raised in Morehead, Kentucky, and holds an MFA from Spalding University. Amy works for Community Farm Alliance as the Eastern Kentucky Food System Resiliency Coordinator. She is a farmer, writer, visual artist, and teacher and has received grants and fellowships from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She is the author of Who You Grow Into (Finishing Line Press, 2024) and Make Believe Worlds We Built Together (Bottlecap Press, 2023), and her work has been featured in Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Change Seven, and Kentucky Monthly. She lives and works on her farm in Carter County, Kentucky.