Roving feet get suctioned in the swale.
Mud leaches between laces and leather
before you see the depression coming.
The valley looked drier, but spring rain
and winter melt had no time to evaporate
or seep deeper into the earth, harmless.
This land rises up in such a way that dips
are unpredictable. Perhaps shallow cavities
will always be damp, hollows I dare not tread,
not even during the hottest drought.
Some swales will never drain enough
to step unburdened. The hiker
is swallowed, boots sucking heavy in muck.
Anxious hands quiver for help, unable
to reach down and untie my own shoes.
Published by Sarah M. Wells
Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.
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One thought on “The Swale”
Your stuff is always so good Swells…amazing visuals