National Poetry Month Day 2: Paula Bohince



Like the Lethe, which says Forget, or the one in Egypt,

a river will take into itself what is offered: run-offs, toxic

chemicals returned as rain, then snow, which looks beautiful,

the road salt, its chloride, dead bodies, the garbage.

It will open its mouth, keep open cloud-watching eyes.

Childlike, it will obey, drink innocently what is given,

will come when called, will deliver the poison.

Who knows why? Not that mindless water, not the glacial-

fed Huron, not the children’s changed bones and brains.

The money knows, dirty as winter leaves on the riverbanks,

precious, obscene, to be saved and saved and saved.

–Paula Bohince


Paula Bohince’s third collection Swallows and Waves was published by Sarabande in early 2016.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →