The Widow's Walk

by

Sarah Little

Collate a map.
Climb slow and careful through a window,
shimmy a drainpipe, land to the ground
with a flump.

The woods leads to an ocean.
None of the townsfolk told you this:
ocean's edge holds no good memories.
Here, people do not celebrate summer.
Picnics in the sand are fantasy;
if they don't think about it for long enough
perhaps they think the water will disappear.

You wind through the woods.
Torch in pocket and knapsack with
supplies, you listen for the call of waves.

The water is poison, they told you in hush
tones. To go there is to collaborate with
ghosts.
Water laps through your boots. Socks wet
and icy, it's all you know.
You see no ghosts here.

Below you: wooden beams clatter. Above,
a tree canopy hides you. Are there eyes
here?
A rock formation juts out. Writing,
that you can't make out, covers it. Can't get
close to see.

There are no eyes here.
Just a trick of the light.

If she knows you are here, Clementine
will be furious
in the ways that ghosts are.

A light comes from the water. Manmade,
you discern slowly. A boat. Water hammers your knees,
weighs down your skirts.
Mud and wet sand suck at your boots
as you turn to leave. The ocean swells,
and you strip boot from sock from ankle.

People don't leave here so easily and
the water wants you.

When she’s not browsing through stacks of books or watching mysteries, Sarah Little is a poet and sometimes story-teller. Her first poetry pamphlet was "Snapshots" (Broken Sleep Books, 2019) and most recently she's been exploring fairy-tale motifs while branching out into fiction. Her most recent publications have been pieces in Cypress Journal, Mineral Lit, and Perhappened, among others.