I gave birth to four oceans. You came forth like waters fed by mountain stream.
Commitment and desire -snow-pure and inviolate- you sprung from the fount that
mingled he and I.

We fed you from our depth; our bodies – the well of your nourishment.
Your bottomless bellies sated with mother’s milk.
Your endless imaginations inhabited by father’s fables.

We took your measure, sounding your deeps.
Like Cousteau and Attenborough, we explored and discovered and marveled at you.
I’m proud to be an expert on your life.

As you move through time like floods o’er-washing the land, you’re infused with the minerals and debris of the ground we laid for you.
I smile as we share a knowing look when you don’t surprise us.

With every mile you pick up speed and race away from your source and
the rivers of the world make their winding way toward you.
I am tempted to fear they will pollute you.

No longer unadulterated, you are fed by many streams,
shaping currents and promoting waves.
I kneel on your shore and cry as I consider desalination.

I have one more way to feed you.

Sarah M. Lillard lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and four kids. She has written poetry for many years, but only started seeking publication in 2019. She has lived through earthquakes and cancer and is now learning to cope with a rear autoimmune disease. You can find more of her work in Black Bough Issue 2.

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