A Poem by Mary Meriam

[I cried a river then crossed the river]


I cried a river then crossed the river
I did this on my own without a boat or magic
It was a shallow river, but wide and swift
I carried a bundle of clothes and books

Then my bundle was lost in a flood
I cried so much, I cried an ocean
Then I set sail in an old boat
It was made of driftwood and rags

I crossed the ocean and lost the boat
One big wave tossed me on an island
In this quiet place, my crying dried
I befriended birds and a small cat

I befriended farmers with tiny farms
Who feed me with onions and potatoes
Blackberries, blueberries, cabbages, squash
All year, they keep me well-fed and full

I live in a treehouse in the forest
My tears live in a lake I never touch
Floods are only rain, and storms end
I wait for the sound of waves on the shore



Mary Meriam’s poems have been published by The New York Times, the Poetry Foundation, Oxford University Press, National Public Radio, Penguin Random House, University Press of New England, Seal Press, and many literary journals. 

The Poetry Section is edited by Mark Bibbins.