by Brigit Truex
I am lying on this rock-lip, above
ink-shaded water, determined to see
for myself as just below
it lunges, horned cat-head grins no grin
ferocious teeth snatching at my face
its long-pulled body ripples, twitching
mix of sinuous feline and murky snake
unnatural, warned of, hissing
fanged claws rake stones, maul the air
wet moss drooling its jaws, its barbed length, tail
snapping, thrashes itself into the deep darkness
just beyond my reach, its reach. Turbulent
quiet, rock-spurned wake seethes, settles.
I stumble back, heart, a fist against my chest.
My throat, a drum. Had I tumbled in,
Who would know? Search? Fear for me?
Far from the lake, I stop running at last.
Aspen-leaf quiver in my legs, done.
My breath catches up to me. I stretch out my hands,
slightest tremble still, see the doubled image of
leaf drifting to water, paired, mirrored.
I puzzle what remains seen and unknown. Could some hand
lured the panther-spirit to lair there, below the surface,
given it endless life, pecked stone to stone
below the hanging ledge, to leap and snarl at the unwary –
protect those waters with its flaring eyes, storied
tooth and claw? The how is mine, the why,
the answer, a cloud in my hand.
© Copyright Brigit Truex
After living in various parts of the country, Brigit Truex left California’s Sierra Nevada mountains for the flatter, milder section of Kentucky’s Blue Grass plateau. With a heritage of First Nations (Abenaki/Cree), French Canadian, and Irish, it is no surprise that the natural world has greatly influenced her poetry. Her work has been included in various international journals and anthologies, including About Place, apt, Yellow Medicine Review, and others. She was a finalist for both the Locked Horn Press prize and Hopper Journal Prize. Her latest collection, Sierra Silk, is available on Amazon. Her website is booksandsuchbybrigittruex.wordpress.com.
Read the Rest of the January Issue
- Mermaid by Nivedita Sekar
- Til Human Voices Wake Us by Jennifer Hudak
- Lament of the Love Struck Irish Fisherman by Grainne Quinlan
- Interview with Brigit Treux, David Bowles, and Grainne Quinlan by Julia Rios
- Cold Water by Karen Porter Sorensen
- Wake by Sara Eileen Hames
- Underwater Panther by Brigit Truex
- Siren Call by David Bowles
- How to Eat a Mermaid by K. Garcia Ley
- Flow by Baz Kanold
- Getting Our Sea Legs by Julia Rios
- Tracking Treasure by Meg Frank