Crossing by Kindra McDonald

“You stole the canoe, I sank in the water, took a breath and swam. With every inhalation I saw you paddling beside me across that long, silent lake to the hot springs a mile away.”

Crossing by Kindra McDonald

The moon is a peach slice in the summer sky
cut by a paring knife held in God’s hand.
You lead me barefoot through the grass
in the wet morning of weaving spiders.

We left the cabin still and sleeping
snuck to the lake daring each other. You stole
the canoe, I sank in the water, took a breath and swam.
With every inhalation I saw you paddling beside me
across that long, silent lake to the hot springs a mile away.

In the deepest center of the lake, the cold shock
the pure dark draw, I stall
with thoughts of sliding under
                 the nothing but water and moonglow



When there is nothing but dark
thoughts of sliding under
I hear the sound of the oar,
your smooth motion matching
the rhythm of my stroke.

You are there with each breath
guiding me. God is in the details,
in the spray of stars that outnumber prayers.

Breathe with me now, like you did
so I can remember what it’s like to break
the surface.

*

Kindra McDonald received her MFA from Queen’s University of Charlotte. She teaches various poetry classes at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA and is an adjunct writing professor and doctoral student. Her work has appeared in various journals to include Muddy River Poetry Review, Camel Saloon and the anthologies The Nearest Poem, Twice Upon a Time and “B.” She was a finalist for the Press 53 Open Awards in 2011. Her first book Concealed Weapons was published by ELJ Publications in 2015 and her second, Elements and Briars, was published by Redbird Chapbooks in 2016. She has two full-length collections forthcoming in 2019, Fossils by Finishing Line Press and In the Meat Years by Aldrich Press.

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