top of page
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Water and Air


Mermaids and angels were

creatures no one believed 

in past the age of nine.


Being eight, I knew

anything was possible.

My grandmother’s scaly skin

and my mother’s winged back

sure signs, living proof

of monsters in my blood.


Fingers veined purplish blue,

yellow fright lightening

hair, too frizzed and frayed,

grandma was a shocking sight;

weathered from being out of

water far too long, baking

in the prairie-dust heat

on a farm that was desert.

She never smiled in sunshine.

When the rains finally came

she glowed, iridescent pink

silver to pearl-blue.

Drank water through her pores,

drenching clean through to bone.

Thirst finally quenched

in just two inches of water.


My mother was afraid 

of wetness, couldn’t put 

her face in rain or showers;

her back protected her,

shoulder blades deflecting.

She preferred the lightness

of air, winter’s cold snap

of wind playing maypole

with her mass of dark curls,

snowflake-kisses, fleeting 

on nose, eyelash and tongue. 

Making her snow angels

in a blanket of white—

the imprints of wings clear—

her flushed cheeks pinched rosy

by the fingers of God,

she would rise up in white

arms outstretched to the sky 

her creation resting;


I believed her holy

standing still, in the proof.

bottom of page