Jeanne Obbard

Nurse Log
by Jeanne Obbard

Kayaking in
the maritime forest,
I lag behind the guide and see

the white egret, shadow-blue heron,
nutria’s black nose breaking
the surface, an arrow
pursued by its wake

The paddle does not exist except
by resting in its own cupped hand
Happiness also
a liminal state, a stillness full
of small things:

the submerged log, the shiver of grass
on one facet,
and the tiny fishes in its sphere
They are the size of this word:


darting quicker than the time it takes
to see. But not faster
than joy


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 2.

Jeanne ObbardJeanne Obbard received her bachelor’s degree in feminist and gender studies from Bryn Mawr College, and works in clinical trial management. She was granted a Leeway Seedling Award for Emerging Artists in 2001. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Anderbo, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Cleaver, EDGE, Philadelphia Stories, and The Rumpus. She can be found on the web at

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