Come morning I am northward bound
Heading straight into the mouth of the past
Upturned corners forming a grin, stretching wide across the Rappahannock River.
In the southern states, Rivers are magnets.
They pull us towards them with strong arms
And there is comfort in the combination of their power and our own buoyancy.
Since before our feet could touch the muddy bottom
We have been told to stay afloat -- and our bodies have learned this lesson well.
At 26, I know my own strength, and know better than to underestimate
The strength of the current.
And so I prepare.
I pack too much underwear, every beauty product I own
I steam my dresses, pulling hard on the hems to erase wrinkles
Pulling hard on the filter of my cigarette to create some.
I pause at my jewelry box, my lucky ruby pendant, and consider the idea
That sentimentality is forgivable, allowed.
So I close the clasp around my neck and sigh, just once.
My stomach agiley flips in both delight for the people in my life whom I travel to celebrate with
And in anticipation of flooded river banks.
I pack my purple cut-offs and giggle to myself, and I say
Out loud in my empty bedroom, to no one in particular:
(Or maybe to Pasco the dog, who always stays near when he knows he's needed)
Here comes the flood.