Suzan Phillips : 2010 Poetry

It’s just a river

a body of water

we’ve figured out how to cross

rivers before

canoes, boats, bridges

but this river

I can’t figure out how to get to the other side

If I follow the line on the map all the way

up to the mountain

back down to the ocean

I can never cross-

no places where land masses touch-

to the other side

with Hannah

She might as well be on the other side of the Atlantic

I am earthbound homebound lovebound confounded

Only one man could walk on water-

Sweetgrass blackwater

unreachable shore where

Hannah hunches inside a Barbie house

all pink and plastic

 

Hannah

h-a-n-n-a-h

a palindrome

the same both ways

a continuum of letters

Picture this:

an ant

working up the h

and down–

around the a-

up the n’s –

around the a

up the h –

just to turn around and spell it again, again and again –

trapped inside three pieces of the alphabet –

unable to spell anything else

two of each letter

barricaded by h’s

guarded by a’s

two little n’s huddling together in the middle –

up and down

back and forth –

I picked her name from a book

it means grace

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