Life on the Flood Plain

Another original poem for National Poetry Month! This week’s offering is a tale of my California childhood, back when the rain was plentiful enough that we’d often watch the winter river rising against the side of the levee.

Life on the Flood Plain
Nestled in the south elbow
of the levee
we are sheltered from the river
now swelling with melted snow
as it zigzags through this valley
like the roots of our apricot tree
stretching into the lawn.
Forced from a sandy burrow
by rising water
a lone jack rabbit
his ears a brown exclamation point
careens from street to sidewalk
seeking a shelter
amid juniper bushes and moss
where Saint Francis extends
a granite hand
beckoning sparrows to lunch 
on discarded bread crust
Mom trimmed from our toast.
Inside two cats lounge
on a plastic table cloth
black limbs curled lazily
around an African violet
in a clay pot
and human babies
resolve to live forever
on Mom’s cookie dough
and duets Dad sings with the dog.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash 

2 thoughts on “Life on the Flood Plain

  1. Cats tails around African violets. Living forever on cookie dough. Dad duet with dog. River rising. St Francis concrete hand.
    Such lovely homelike images. It feels warm in this house on the Sacramento River. Yet always aware that the river can over flow and flood us out of our coziness as it has of late.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.