Where Sam's Daughter Wades Tonight
by John Grey
John Grey has been published recently in the Georgetown Review, The Pinch, South Carolina Review, and The Pedestal, with work upcoming in Alimentum and Big Muddy.
I'm not through with explaining why
the eyes of the reptiles are not like those of men
but she's already bouncing off the sofa,
across the floorboards, and out the door.
A book of scales and jaws and cold blood
is speaking through me but one 'gator
sunning on the river bank is enough advice for her.
She doesn't hear the part where the water
moccasin undresses the girl, admires her body,
before he inserts those long, toxic fangs.
Those who only think they're grown up
need swamp education as much as tree-top learning,
must learn we're always a lot closer to stagnant
brown water than puffy white clouds.
But jeans and tattoo and bangles and midriff flashing,
she laughs at me like I'm some plodding
Galapagos turtle, thoughts as turgid as his feet.
All I can do is pray tonight that all that floats
up to her is logs, all that slithers is the music,
that she hears the warning rattle long before the rattler does.
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