by Stacy Kidd

Were it that the river lay like the children’s skin—
satiable, slight but withstanding.

Some nights, when the women would dress in deerskin,
drunk on the river’s water, my daughter with her dulcet

songs for the long dead. Their Purring and Purging.
Her Winter of the Newly Converted.

Winter, when the women wore their hair in high braids.
When the river shook its thin-hooked fingers,

and the water rose to eat its only edges,
then the women who feared endless dust, knew days

like night and dust, and night came with its own kind
of absolution. Absence. Alchemy. Ice returning to water.

Stacy Kidd recently completed an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas where she held the Walton Fellowship in Poetry. Currently a Lecturer in English at Oklahoma State University, she has published most recently in DMQ Review and Verse Daily.