Mississippi Mud

On the lighter side…this poem isn’t about life in the city, but rather about what can happen when you take a city girl and plunk her down “in nature” (and by nature, I mean the edge of the Mississippi River, about a mile and a half from downtown Memphis).

This piece appeared originally in the 2009 Poets Anonymous collection, Bending Toward the Light. If you’d like to hear a dramatic reading of the poem by my dear friend and fellow poet, Jennifer Merri Parker, click here.

Mississippi Mud

Up to my kneecaps
in Mississippi mud
it slowly sinks in
that I have chosen
the wrong dock—
not the one,
well-paved and hospitable,
from which we’d set out
one short hour before,
but another,
similar in appearance,
yet different in nature—
treacherous, slippery
and not at all where I want to be.

Amid squelches and squeals
I am able to salvage
one of my shoes
but not the other
and, chalking the loss up to “tuition,”
I mark this lesson as learned:
that, absent an invitation to tread atop the waters,
we mortals must be selective
about the times we elect to
step out of the boat.

© 2009
Alexis Spencer-Byers


2 responses to “Mississippi Mud

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