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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