Thanks to Sammy Greenspan and all the good folks at Kattywompus Press ❤ Here’s a peek into this odd, little book ❤
Woman Made of Pond Water and Mud
mouth o’ing like fish, fighting for breath in the run-off, in the sludge, in what’s left
of the autumn light gold-slicking the green green surface. She fights to recall what it means to keep breathing.
Meaning is, she knows, manufactured, manufacturing, making, made. What will
we construct today, this day where cold rain pools all across the yard, and where
the gathering dark makes it hard for even the slightest steps of dreaming?
As a child she learned early to clean fish, buckets of struggle she and her brothers carried
home from the creek, the pond, the river, home to the scrape, the knife, the filet,
the tweezer pull of pin bones, careful delicate extractions, lessons in vigilance,
before her mama’s sure hands transformed their catch into sustenance.
She never could look in there, in the pail, couldn’t watch as those fish–
bass, stripe, crappie, cats–fought so hard, banged in circles against the smooth
unending plastic, ramming and gasping, drowning in air. She didn’t have to, look,
or ask, when even now her own small amphibious heart thudded
within the curve of her ribs, this breath, then that, the only meaning
even vaguely in reach of her grasp.
-Mary Carroll-Hackett, (Un)Hinged, Kattywompus Press, 2019