December Poem of the Month — Lory Bedekian


When the floods come
I swim to it.

From the stew
of water, my arms

loop and wheel, frantic
for that large mahogany slab.

Parachutes of waves
all around, I barely keep

afloat. This tsunami,
this ocean is full of debris.

I must have wandered
from shore again.

I glide and finally reach
its chipped edges. Glorious

boards and drawers,
my rectangular lifeboat:

I jump on its strong back,
lie down, breathe

and say, Thank you.
The rocking settles.

I say listen, there’s so much
to tell, so much I’ve seen

in my wanderings.
I have been swimming for days.

Lory Bedikian’s The Book of Lamenting was awarded the 2010 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and teaches poetry workshops.