Sentries
by Carol V. Davis

If you believe in the power of ravens, this all may be true.

An ex-wife claims she knew when her former husband had died,

though she had not seen him for 30 years.

Some believe in premonition.

A pond. The kind undiscovered for years,

until a woman pulls aside willow branches, lifts twigs pointy
as witches’ fingers from the water.
Stripping, she eases in as the surface parts for her.

There are places where seasons cease to exist.

Time marked by light and darkness.

Others surely knew of this pond, but did not warn her.

The moon was of no help.

She began to swim as if weightlessness were a kind of God
willing to forgive everything.
Then she saw black ribbons in the water: snakes

gliding from both banks like sentries.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 3.

Carol V. Davis won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, her work has been read on NPR, Radio Russia. She teaches at Santa Monica College.

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