The Robert Watson Literary Prize Poem SERVING TIME

Spring 2016 / Issue 99

Lisa Dordal

                                                    for J.

 

Think fairy fly, think

small wasp digging with her legs

 

through a water’s skin.

Think wings, think fringed

 

and beautiful. Think

of the thing done

 

by the boy that cannot be

undone. Think swim,

 

think down, think

of the paddles, which are really

 

wings, which are really

beautiful. And the thing done

 

by the boy that cannot be

undone. Think of the eggs

 

she is looking for—the eggs

of the water beetle into which

 

she will insert her own.

Think of the boy, think

 

of the thing done by the boy,

think of the boy undone

 

by rage, undone

by its rising, rage undoing

 

what he thought he knew

of his mind, to undo that

 

of another. Think of the thing

done to a boy that cannot be

 

undone. Think of the eggs

which are not her eggs

 

which will become her own.

Wings, fringed

 

and beautiful. Think of her

exiting, think of her

 

climbing a stem, waterweed

perhaps, without which

 

she would be unable

to lift her body

 

back into air. Think

of the boy, the beautiful boy.

 

Think of a thing done

that cannot be undone.