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Floodwater

The rivers swelled that spring,
rose three feet an hour
until the front porch
looked out onto a sea
of muddy water.

There was nothing to do
but wait for the swell
to recede and wick back
down into the earth.

No way to reach town,
no supplies or news,
no power, so we scrounged
what we could
from the back of the pantry:

cans of white beans
and tinned meat
and a mason jar
full of last year’s
apricot preserves.

I lit a candle, and that night
we sat on the porch,
wrapped each other
in your grandmother’s
old hand-stitched quilt
and ate those sticky
sweet gold preserves
on slices of crusty bread.

Listen to the water rush by,
watch the candle flame flicker,
your mouth is sweet gold, too.
Let the waters never drop.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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