★ ★ ★ ★
Imagine you wake in a coastal town –
a sleepy, quiet town, with a permanently gray sky.
People talk, but their lips don’t move, and they’re completely unaware
that the tide is rising to swallow them up.
You are unable to warn them,
barely aware of what’s happening
yourself. You walk
one night to your home there, and on the way
in the door, lying in the tall grass – rabbits. A mother
and four newborn babies, all speckled brown, and spotted with blood.
But the mother lays apart from her babies, shivering with cold,
as though the birth gave her need of air. You think this
strange, but do nothing. In the morning, you
walk out, and see that the tide has risen
to where they used to be.
Somehow, you know that the ocean
has taken them, as though the price for being born
to a negligent mother is to be taken
by the sea. Could you have saved them? Do you feel
hollow, standing there, looking where the rabbits used to be?
Can you save anyone in the town, or will you wake to see the houses
swept up by the tide, too? You know it will come quietly.
The people won’t talk, but their lips will move.
You will stand at the edge of town, looking
at the water, risen up, and know
that mothers don’t let
their babies drown. The sea
does not think us her children –
she is hungry, and when the time
comes, she will eat us slowly. And still,
we won’t know until the water is up to
our waists. We won’t know until
we’ve been taken, too.
D’Arcy White graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Creative Writing and Spanish. She is in the process of getting a Masters in Business Administration, but hasn’t left her love of writing behind. She finds inspiration in family, nature, and dreams.