Growing Up by Lorrie Ness

a rainwater sea laps within

the tire swing that dropped by the shore last evening. & you


running up to hug my legs, before you knew the word relief

could describe the red tide washing


hot across your cheeks. before you learn

other words to describe that same burning within. synapses


fizzling at the arc of a flare

watched from a sinking bow. this first thrill —


how it took you by surprise that being away from home

had been the harbor that stopped your sinking.


& now, home is slack water

before the discovery that some pleasures are symbiotic with risk


becomes your heading. but you’re still in galoshes,

as we gather the frayed ends


of snapped rope. i show you how to unravel

the strands, show you that mending


does not imply fidelity to the original.

we tie mooring buoys to each separate cord & let the currents


of wind knot them against the cypress, twine them together

as only eddies can do.


Lorrie Ness is a poet writing in a rural corner of Virginia. When she’s not writing, she can be found stomping through the woods, watching birds and playing in the dirt. Her work can be found in numerous journals, including THRUSH, Palette Poetry and Sky Island Journal. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021 and her chapbook, “Anatomy of a Wound” was published by Flowstone Press in July of 2021.