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Selection 5 of


by John Kent
The body washed up
on a bank of the Hudson,
the New York side.
The cops were there
by the seawall;
someone with a hook
was lifting her up,
she was bloated and green
with the moss of the river
hanging on.
Get back! The cops yelled,
Move on!
The crowd gathered in a knot
of oohs and aahs...
transfixed, by the puffed up remains
of a woman who was.
Her eyes glazed over...
stared at a scarlet sky.
She was almost naked,
the beads of the river
slowly draining off
her once smooth skin.

I was twelve years old,
couldn't pull my eyes away.
The chill started creeping
as the sun fell below the palisade.
Red lights were flashing
and silence fell hard
as the ambulance arrived.
They laid a blanket on her body
...took her away,
I heard a cop say, she was young,
maybe twenty or so...

The winter appeared
and the river flowed
through the ice and snow.
The spring came around,
warmed up the city and
Riverside Drive.
I'd walk by the seawall
after school was out;
she would be twenty-one or so,
should still be alive.
The moments flashed
and I'd silently cry.
She was nothing to me...
she was everything to me...
and I didn't know why.

Selection 5 of

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