I am not Monet’s lily.

Not floating among shiny
lily pads or flowering pastels.
I am the rusty underside.
Claude Monet, I dare you.
Dive in, submerge yourself,
see a mother who has not bloomed,
glistened, slept for ten months.
Color me in murk,
paint me black.

I am not Ophelia.

Not young or noble yet I too
live grief. Mad from not knowing
where he is, drowning assuages terror.
But in water things clear. I am parent
first. Refuse to inhale, dig nails into silt,
push up, gasp through lakes mirror.
I scream
come home my boy.

I am not Virginnia Woolf.

Everyday another stone shoves into
my pockets. Load me with rocks,
worst case scenarios. Label me
tragic, victim, survivor. I charge
into brackish silence. But as water
circles my neck, I unload
the sodden coat, trudge ashore in case
he needs me.

Maria Masington hails from Delaware. Her poetry has appeared in two dozen publications and she has had seven short stories published. Parnilis Media released Masington’s first chapbook, Mouth Like a Sailor, in 2021. It was awarded first place by both Delaware Press Association and National Federation of Press Women.