The Riverbed

by Ziggy Edwards

Daughter, you knew me from pigs.
Bent to your palms, rag across floor.
Signed away the name I gave you,
          tucked between gold ring and witch’s finger.
Huddled on shore, watched the boat through diaphanous hands.
Told us This food isn’t ours; we’ll get in trouble.

When I wake up clammy to shadows
stroking the ceiling in streetlight, I remember these things.
          Your father and I, how we feasted.

Brushing my hair, wiping my chin. Who is the woman
with white-streaked hair, slight grip on my wrist?
She wraps herself in spare sheets
folded on the bedside chair.
Stares into my face, a rippling pool.
Once you meet someone, you never really forget them.
          Maybe she thinks this.

When we forgot you, we lost our human forms.
I thought those muddy days in a crowded barn
were a dream, but I remember them before my name.

This time, daughter, I know you will find us,
          choose us,
          rescue us.
So I wait in this pink room with a patient woman
whose fingers on the spoon
are blunt like your father’s.

Ziggy Edwards is the proud owner of a loft bed. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications including 5 AM, Confluence, Main Street Rag, Illumen, and Dreams and Nightmares.

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