Flood

by Richard Evans
Moontown Cafe
Honorable Mention, June 2008
Judged by Patricia Smith


I thought if I waited,
if I left wine, small purple flowers
a polished coin, if I made secret prayers
and with rituals
blessed the dirt that would cake
your boots when you came,
then you would come.

I thought if I wept,
if I fucked with the thought
of your face masking the face of the one
who has taken your place
and made of my bones
a terrible shrine
then you would come home.

And I thought if I drove
my children away, and drove
myself mad, and cut through my palm
and bewitched the windows of your friends
with my watching –
or if I stayed numb, silent
and orderly, beached
and counting the sum of your acts
with white and black pebbles, one by one –
then you would come home.

Eight stars out
and the station is calling.
Not much to eat, the clocktower is gone.
And where the rivermouth was
now there’s a market –
the people seem surprised
when it floods.


The building tension, marked by a growing and ill-fated desperation, wouldn't let me shake this one. --Patricia Smith

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