Brittle Naiad

By Amelia Gorman

Brittle as the snow is gray
She has secrets for one who will listen
We all miss the way the world used to be

Being can count as an action
when you’re four meters fathomed, she whispers
There is nothing safe about houses

Submersed sybil of the Mississippi
One day a year she rises, saying
Harvesting is hard when your roots aren’t woven

Oracle, nautical
tells the one in noxious tones
Men drown on nothing when you choke their machines

Boats beach themselves
On the storms of her winter shores
Sinking is its own reward

Ice ghosts
Decay along the floes
And breaking is its own survival strategy


Amelia Gorman is a recent transplant to Eureka, California, where conservation efforts in her old home of Minnesota and her new one inform a lot of her poetry. She loves tide pools, lakes, fungus, and shelter dogs, and you can read her horror tinged fiction in Sharp & Sugar Tooth from Upper Rubber Boot Books and some of her recent poetry in Vastarien and Liminality Magazine.