Bayou Queen

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 12:37 -- mmbh94

(poems go here) When you were eight, your mother took you to Cane River and claimed it as hers.
She fed the crocodiles fish she caught with her bare hands
and in return they gnawed at Spanish moss and made her a crown,
named her the Bayou Queen.
Today, while you sit by her bedside,
the doctor comes in and asks if you need anything.
The life support machine beeps
He checks her chart, then closes the door behind him
leaving you and your mother to lie underneath pecan trees
and stare at cranes in flight

Your mother smiles a gold plated crescent moon
and tells you to watch how the river moves like silent thunder, like
grace in a state of constant motion
She throws rocks at trees laughs then puts pebbles in your hand
and makes you throw rocks too
She braids magnolias in your hair and tells
you the grass is just the floor of God’s living room
She picks ladybugs from your legs and eats
them with reverence
The machine beeps

The Doctor comes in, adjusts the IV and leaves
Your mother runs into the water and stands in the
middle of the river
It grabs her ankles and tells her to swallow
it whole
She immediately spits it out but the muddy
water flows through her veins.
The life support machine beeps
You ask her if you can come into the water too
She tells you to stay ashore, it is dangerous to try to control a river
she does not try ,She lets it move her upstream

You run beside her- feet on land- panting
The machine beeps
Her skin blends with the brownness of the water
You ask her to come throw rocks with you
She does not listen.
The crocodiles swim beside her- faithful companions that do not allow you to get too close
You say you are sorry
This time, she turns toward you and tells you she forgives you but she is tired.
The machine beeps
The river moves faster
You push through the brush around you and
think about how alive you are at this moment
You call for her, she does not answer
The machine beeps.

She laughs and the crocodiles start to sing.
The river is so brown now, brown like her legs in her favorite dress
The machine beeps
You do not see her curls atop the water
You hear her singing with the crocodiles
You run faster
the machine beeps

She yells for you to turn away
The magnolias are wilting
the machine beeps
the crocodiles are wailing
the machine beeps
You do not listen
you run faster faster faster
until you fall, your bloody knees sink into the earth
The river flows on and the machine-

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