Water Bodies by Anne Carly Abad

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Water Bodies by Anne Carly Abad
Illustration by Sue Babcock

If at first touch she made known
the sparkling rush of a waterfall
he’d have been certain
she was his
but her finger whispered
like a river in summer
nearly dried to its bed.

Among them was a saying
faint waters aren’t worthy
close as they are to the air
and sky, they dissipate
without shame and drag down
the bloodline.

Yet the quieter she grew
the closer he listened
for a sign or a sigh—
anything to give ground
to his doubts about these plains
surely once a great meeting
of noble brooks and streams
now a grave of silt
to anyone who stays.

But there, in her guarded silence
was something of a tempest
hidden in her shallow depth
a thousand breaths, rising, falling
the roar of the long dead god—Ocean
stirring right before him.

She raised her face
as if a burden had lifted
met him with a smile that said
he knew now her secret.

He knelt on the banks as she did
silenced the currents
of premature passion and
beheld glowing gems
of blue and green
weathered to a polish
by her steady stream
they hardened without fear
of star or fire. Oh these children!
He blessed them
their water deep within
to rise unbreakable
like no one ever did.


BIO: Anne Carly Abad received the Poet of the Year Award in the 2017 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. She has also received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award. Her work has appeared in Apex, Mythic Delirium, and Strange Horizons, to name a few. She continues to write in between managing her business and taking care of her three-year-old.