A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Lisken Van Pelt Dus

is a poet, teacher, and martial artist, raised in England, the US, and Mexico, and now living in Massachusetts.

Her work can be found in several anthologies, in such journals as Conduit, The South Carolina Review, qarrtsiluni, and upstreet, and in her chapbook, Everywhere at Once (Pudding House Press, 2009).

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Virginia’s Walking Stick

Leonard found it
floating in the river
after she drowned.
She planted its tip
in mud among reeds
to steady her first
stone-weighted steps—
a stable third leg
as she advanced
deeper and deeper—
until its buoyancy
refused the mission
and she let go of it.
Envy the stick.
Envy the inanimate,
incapable of imbalance,
unable to override
specific gravity—
the stones heavy,
the wood light,
the water moving on.