Flood by Janet McAdams

We drive the car into the next morning,
over a distance we’re happy
to lose sight of. Memory rises with the river,
and brown water fills the fields,
turned to stubble in this cold.
The arc of the bridge is too high to look back.
The river rises and drives us, the forced sing along,
your foot heavy on the gas pedal.
There were no stars last night. I pass time
rummaging through what we chose to take:
this story, a few battered pots and pans,
one lamp—its aqua shade turned up.

Everything will disappear into this thick water,
into last night when we told each other
what we had kept secret for years.
It’s dangerous to dream along, to ignore
natural disaster. We point the car
toward the horizon, wanting to be a point
on its line, a place of motion, nothing more.

From: McAdams, Janet, “Flood” in Poetry, Vol. 154, Issue 5, August 1989, p. 265.
(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?volume=154&issue=5&page=21)

Date: 1989

By: Janet McAdams (1957- )

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