High Water

November 7, 2008

West of here, an incursion, a storm surge:
the breakwaters give way.
East of here, levees burst in an unseasonable torrent.
The tarns of the Tetons decant their icemelt
into this basin of ours,
this gold chalice of once-habitable land.
Convergence: Deluge.
Eloi, eloi, the heartland has gone missing,
and the tribe of the Gros Ventre.

I am water-brought.
I float up to the cathedral ceiling
toward a last lungful of air.
Where is the animal who feels no fear?
Going under, I hear buffalo bellowing,
owls who’ing at noon.

by Kate Bernadette Benedict

Download the MP3

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  1. November 8, 2008 at 6:31 am

    I thought the first verse good, but the second…. pow! Quite unexpected, quite incredible…

  2. November 10, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    I really liked this and the audio was splendid…

  3. pat
    November 11, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Most powerful poem I’ve read in some time!! Quite an image for that last gasp of air.
    Thank you!

  4. November 17, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Really made me shiver, especially the audio.

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