Mother Flood – Anna Laura Falvey

In part, our cellar is a well.
When the ground swells,

pregnant with ocean brine
and rain, the water rises:

murky and dustclotted,
filtered through groundfloor

pores. In part, I remember
my mother downstairs in the slow,

slow, steady tide, I remember her
wildness, brave and rockjawed

in the face of her house, her house’s
betrayal. Supposed to keep her safe,

keep her child safe, her house. I sit
upstairs in this memory, oreo creme

for dinner. The walls vibrate, whistle
in the wind: a howling like a monster’s

mother wrapping her palms in fists
around each of our four walls. I scrape

creme off each cookie with my bottom teeth
and stack them in front of me: cairns, light-

houses, a tower of protection from the storm’s
rage. My mother beats out the rising water

with sheer battlewill while from behind my tower
I rip sheets of newspaper, magazine scraps, grocery

lists, and sheets from the yellowpages: folding
paper boats to sail along the rocking waves.

Anna Laura Falvey (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based poet and theater-maker. In 2020, she graduated from Bard College with degrees in Classics & Written Arts, with a specialty in Ancient Greek tragedy and poetry. She spent her college career blissfully hidden behind the Circulation and Reference desks at the Stevenson Library, where she worked. Anna Laura has been a teaching artist with Artists Striving to End Poverty since 2019, with Lumina Theatre Company since 2021, and will begin a teaching fellowship with ArtistYear in January of 2022. She currently works as editorial assistant at Bellevue Literary Review, and is currently serving as an ArtistYear fellow, teaching Poetry in Queens, NY.

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