A POEM by DONNIE ESTELLE SECREAST
Water gulped before us most days that summer.
Sometimes we’d take guys
To soak in the light on the trashy dirt beaches,
But always each other.
We’d saran wrap cigarettes
To smoke on the rocks
Before free falls into the deep part of the river.
One of us would tread one-handed,
Using the other to grasp a bottle of Early Times—
Ensuring that any belly-flops wouldn’t sting.
We’d doze and swim, doze and swim
Until our bodies glowed red heat.
Days got shorter, your belly got rounder,
And the color drained from my face.
Visitors to the muddy banks grew scarce
And so did our afternoon exploits.
I never could believe your tiny frame could bear another.
Donnie Estelle Secreast is from Western North Carolina. She loves the mountains but saw a lightning storm in South Dakota once and has been dreaming about the Great Plains ever since. This is Donnie's first publication.