Two Poems by Valerie Chamberlain






I know

there is nothing

I can give

to the fly


When he comes

my limbs

reach out to hold him


My petals rest

in the lull of his strangled breaths


I say


I am the bud,

I am the seed,

I am the ground,

I am 

what goes in

and what grows out


As his chest fights to rise,

two dead, black legs curling in

I finally feel the tightness of all my life




I fold 

two wet arms 

around him



you are sinking in


and the woman in me 


I never learned

to swim.





Cutting the Water


I do not let the water cover me

but it does,

I do not move

(I can’t)

and do not call out,

to nothing or

no one


over the years I’ve grown softer

but it makes no difference

to me

but to the fleshy feet that

walk on me.


I do not breathe,

I do not sing,

I am one in a million,

I sink,

thrown and held

rubbed between two fingers,

looked at briefly 

by a child.


Valerie Chamberlain is a writer and educator working in Reading, Pennsylvania.  Her poetry has appeared in The Lehigh Valley Vanguard and Rag Queen Periodical.  She holds a Master’s Degree in education with a concentration in restorative justice and a B.A. in English with a focus in social justice in American literature. 




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