–after Cecilia Woloch
Weren’t we standing there once,
gripping the walls, pulling off shirts,
unsnapping straps, rustling up the sheets?
But weren’t we naked and fragile and young?
Weren’t you the hum and I the mum?
Didn’t we know it wouldn’t all turn out,
And weren’t we standing there once?
Swimming in the Rain
With my hands on her still strong shoulders,
I steer my mother
to the discount rack,
so she won’t complain
about the prices.
The sales girl comes over,
wearing an Oregon Ducks T-shirt,
her smart phone squeezed
into the back pocket
of her rhinestone jeans.
Cracking her gum, she asks
my mother in slow motion,
My mother is slow as rain,
a creaky, twisted
Back at the car, she lifts
the black bathing suit
and folds it neatly on her lap.
“I look like a fat seal in that thing,”
she says, and I tell her,
“And I’m a seagull
crashing into the surf.”
It’s been raining
both of us swimming now
in uncharted waters.
Sherri Levine is a poet, artist, and teacher. She lives in Portland with her partner, their son, and many backyard buddies. Her work has been published in the Timberline Review, CALYX, Verseweavers, Willawaw, Driftwood Press, The Sun Magazine, and other journals. She recently won the Lois Cranston Poetry Contest. In 2017, she won First Prize in the Oregon Poetry Associaton Contest. Her book, In These Voices was published by Poetry Box. sherrilevine.com