On the Way to the Franciscan Well by Mollie Kervick

I’m sure you heard me walking as you plunged into the Lee,
the pattern of my weighted boots, like hooves upon the cobbles.
The sound of your splash washed through the groans
of deep November gusts.
But did you hear the pulse of sirens as you leapt?
Did you see the flashing red lights?
I held the railing along the river street. I watched you swing and bend,
pirouette below my feet. I thought of calling out to you, but your wake
seemed all too calm. I feared I’d interrupt your elegant recital.
Water dancer, spinning swan, is it still cold
where you are now?
Beneath your swinging legs, the riverbed births things
people leave alone. I see them when I walk.
A pointed, glowing traffic cone a tired man
kicked walking home, a shopping cart bumped quietly
by the hunched old woman’s back.
Once I saw a bicycle.
Did you have the chance to touch
these treasures underneath you?
If there hadn’t been any lights, I would have left you there—
harrowed damsel, chiffon lily pad floating against the load of time.
I would have let you sink in satin swirls until you laid
flush against the bed of things left underneath. You would have been
a princess there, a poem to be discovered.

 

About the Author:
Mollie Kervick is a writer and educator with an English degree from Bates College. A Connecticut native, she currently resides in Boston where she works with six year-olds at a charter school. Her creative nonfiction has been published in Knee Jerk Magazine and on Irishcentral.com. Her poetry is forthcoming in Torrid Literature Journal. Her poems explore longing vs. belonging and cultural memory. Part of her heart is in Ireland.