for Dewey Dell


my mama is a fish is a cycle isgirl-325399_640
river to ocean to river to rebirth
she taught me:
be a tree trunk be a cold     grey     sky
when you are made to feel small
be the whole     damn     sky.

my mama is an entire field of tulips
she is mt. st. helens’ ash
falling slowly
back to earth
telling me be corrosive
when they think
you are made
to be touched.

there is something about an ocean that
will not be understood.
this is also how it is with me.
my mama is a fish i am a fish
the magic of our silver
might rub off onto your hands but
do not think you know me
just from touching.

fish slip right        out of fingers
that is not how you’ll catch




Clair DunlapClair Dunlap grew up just outside of Seattle where she started writing poems at the age of six. Her work has previously appeared in Words Dance, BLIND GLASS, The Quarry, and The Norwegian American Weekly. When she’s not writing, Clair can be found doing pilates, laughing, or making things happen as president of the Poetry House at St. Olaf College.

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