Kathleen Brewin Lewis 


Fluent in Rivers

Before you knew me,
before I came to root myself 
in these red clay hills beside your father,
I lived by the coastline,
            swam its creeks and rivers.

Floating in their brackishness, 
watching blue crabs pedal 
sideways and away
the marsh hens cried out,
            but I was never afraid.

Shoulders draped with dark water,
I let cool tendrils of current 
carry me around the bend
until I turned, kicked, stroked my way back
            to the sunburnt dock, the anchor of its ladder.

The clacking of grizzled oyster beds,
white heron lifting over green marsh,
fish leaping like celebrants, 
the suck, seep of tidal life,
            holding my breath, gliding through all.

Today the wind moans around the house,
rattles the cellar door. I peel potatoes
while you sleep in the back bedroom.
When you wake, I need to tell you:
            Before you knew me,
            before I was your mother,
            I swam through summer,
            was fluent in rivers.


Sweater Weather

Disrobing trees, woolly clouds.
A thin creek stitches itself 
into the red valley.
You want to be warmer.
A skein of geese pulls 
across the afternoon sky.


Kathleen Brewin Lewis is an Atlanta writer whose prose and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Yemassee, Southern Humanities Review, Heron Tree, Foundling Review, Weave Magazine, The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. V: Georgia, and Town Creek Poetry. She has an M.A. in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State and is senior editor of Flycatcher.  She loves to hike the hills and mountains of Georgia and North Carolina and is trying to get the nerve to head up Mt. LeConte. Kathleen was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Deep South Magazine in 2012.


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