Brooke Vertin, Flood Stains (digital print, bleach, watercolor, and berries on mulberry)

After the river showed up in the front yard
       everything in the house began to lean.
The water drew us to the front porch
       when it was low on its banks, pushed us
toward the back walls whenever it rose
       at night. The first full moon yanked us
toward the windowsill so fierce
       we had to spin the foot of our bed
around to face the lapping waves.
       Daylight helped keep things settled
enough for work to get done. Old growth
       timber still had to be planed for lumber,
upland traps collected for winter food.
       Even then, the river’s flow conversed
in ways the woods never could,
       and the world would not untilt itself,
whether the moon waned new, or no.


Jack Bedell