No one imagines how you died here
after jumping from the ledge
that night, the moon ladling light
over the current for a moment,
how the flashes and waves
pushed you to the bottom,
the water a muddy gauze around you.
In daylight, it’s as if no one
has ever been here
to toss a beer can into the water.
There are no echoes, only the whisper
of wind in leaves, like the breath
of someone leaving. Sometimes silver
splits the water, but it’s only fish
returning for a moment
from the simple black.
No matter how many times I imagine
your hands surfacing the water
or you spitting, splashing, bobbing
in the sunlight, your chest
bright as chrome,
you do not rise. Somewhere,
robins nip at grass
growing over you. The river
does not stop moving -
it zips open and swallows
and the fish squirm beneath the sun,
a thousand waving hands.

Mary Stone’s poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Thunderclap Magazine, Hobble Creek Review, Half-Way Down the Stairs, Notes Magazine, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, and many other fine journals. She has also had photos published at Midwestern Gothic. In 2011 she received the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award in Poetry, and her essay “No Results Were Found” received an honorable mention in the New Millennium Writings contest. Currently, she lives and works in Lawrence, KS, where she teaches English classes and co-edits the Blue Island Review, and serves as a reader for Gemini Magazine.

This poem was written in immediate response to the tragic drowning of my step-cousin, Logan, who died before turning 21 years old in June, 2011. His death was a complete shock to the family and this poem was written as an elegy to mourn his loss, but to also understand the power of nature, and how life will always move on without those we love.



Copyright 2009